September 19, 2003
TOBACCOLESS PRODUCTS AND SMOKING BAN
By: Saul Spigel, Chief Analyst
You asked whether the smoking ban in restaurants enacted in PA 03-45 applies to tobaccoless products such as herbal cigarettes.
The Office of Legislative Research is not authorized to render legal opinions, and this memorandum should not be construed as such.
PA 03-45, AAC Secondhand Smoke in Workplaces, appears to prohibit smoking tobaccoless cigarettes and cigars in restaurants. The act bans smoking inside all restaurants and in any area of establishments operating under various liquor permits. The act, like the existing law it amended, defines smoking as “the lighting or carrying of a lighted cigarette, pipe, or similar device. ” This language is expansive; it does not limit to tobacco the type of product contained in those prohibited devices (CGS § 19a-342(a)).
In contrast to this expansive language, the law that restricts smoking in other workplaces (also amended by PA 03-45) speaks specifically about tobacco. It defines smoking as “the burning of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco” (CGS § 31-40q (a)(5)). A final factor leading to the interpretation that
smoking tobaccoless products is prohibited in restaurants is that the restaurant smoking ban provision specifically states that it is to be applied “notwithstanding” the language governing workplace restrictions. That is to say, the smoking definition that mentions tobacco specifically does not apply to restaurants.