September 24, 2003
SMOKING LAW ENFORCEMENT
By: Saul Spigel, Chief Analyst
You asked how the smoking ban in restaurants and other restrictions enacted in PA 03-45 will be enforced.
PA 03-45 bans smoking inside restaurants and most other establishments that serve alcoholic beverages; anywhere in state and municipal buildings, most health care institutions, and retail food stores, and in private college and university dormitories. (Smoking was already banned in most areas of public buildings, health care institutions, and food stores and in public college dorms). The ban takes effect October 1, 2003 for restaurants and most liquor permittees, public buildings, health care facilities, private colleges, and others. It takes effect on April 1, 2004 for taverns, cafes, and bowling alley bars. It affects only those private clubs whose liquor permits were issued after May 1, 2003.
As under existing law, local and state police are responsible for enforcing this smoking ban, according to Department of Public Health (DPH) officials. The act also extends to places that serve alcohol the requirement that restaurants and others post signs in all buildings and rooms where smoking is prohibited. DPH officials report that local health officials enforce this provision of the law as part of their health code compliance inspections. Smoking where prohibited and failure to post proper signs, under both PA 03-45 and the statute it amends (CGS § 19a-342), are infractions.
PA 03-45 also limits smoking in most workplaces where five or more people work to specially ventilated smoking rooms (CGS § 31-40q). The labor commissioner is responsible for enforcing this statute.