Why Have a Clean Indoor Air Law?
The Clean Indoor Air Law protects Missourians from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Seventy-two (72.4) percent of MIssouri adults would support a local law that would make all indoor workplaces in their community smoke-free, including restaurants, bars and casinos. Sixty-four (63.7) percent would support a change in Missouri state law that would make all workplaces smoke-free by prohibiting smoking in all indoor workplaces state-wide, including restaurants, bars and casinos. (Missouri Department of Health Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Study, 2010).
What is the Missouri Clean Indoor Air Law?
The Missouri Clean Indoor Air Law states that a person shall not smoke in a public place or public meeting area except in a designated smoking area. Public places such as retail businesses, job sites, restaurants, and publicly-owned facilities must adhere to the law. Smoking and non-smoking areas must be clearly designated by prominently displayed signs. If a proprietor chooses to establish a smoking area, up to 30% of the public area may be set aside for smoking. It is NOT mandatory to have a smoking area! If the proprietor establishes a smoking area, seating arrangements, available ventilation systems, and physical barriers should be used to isolate designated smoking areas. Bars, taverns, bowling alleys, billiard parlors, and restaurants with 50 seats or fewer where conspicuously posted signs state that “Non-smoking Areas are Unavailable” are exempt from the law.
Violations and Penalties
Those who smoke in a nonsmoking area are in violation of the law. A proprietor or other person in charge who permits smoking in a nonsmoking area also is violating the law. Sections 560.016 and 560.021 of the Revised Missouri Statutes specify the penalty for violations. The maximum fine is $200 for an individual and $500 for a corporation. Complaints against violators can be made to local law enforcement agencies. They may issue a citation. There is no fee for filing a complaint. Municipalities and counties may pass more stringent laws and designate alternative enforcement procedures.
REASONS TO BE A SMOKE-FREE BUSINESS
An employer sends a clear message to employees and the community with a smoke-free policy: We care about the health and safety of our employees. Eliminating secondhand smoke in the workplace and decreasing smoking by employees can reduce healthcare costs and increase years of productive life. These two factors alone affect the bottom line for companies.
Keys to a Successful Smoke-Free Policy
Secondhand Smoke Facts:
Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get colds, allergies, asthma, and ear infections.
Numerous studies have shown that exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, causes serious respiratory problems, and aggravated the condition of people with cardiovascular disease.
Secondhand smoke is listed as a Group A carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a rating used only for substances proven to cause cancer in humans.
There is no safe exposure level to secondhand smoke.