Beth Ralston of the Adams County Boys and Girls Club spoke Monday at a Decatur Chamber of Commerce luncheon regarding the new smoke-free air law that took effect July 1, 2012.
The new law states that smoking is prohibited in most places of employment and public places, and within eight feet of a public entrance to these facilities, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Ralston is affiliated with the Tobacco Grant, which was instituted after the tobacco settlement in 1998, to help develop, in part, programs to prevent smoking and assist with smoking cessation.
According to the new law, businesses must post the required no-smoking signs in visible, conspicuous locations. The law requires businesses to post signs at any public entrance stating "No smoking within eight feet by law" and to post "No smoking in this facility by law" signs within the workplace.
Businesses must also remove any smoking receptacles, such as ashtrays, from within the building and must move any outside receptacles out of the eight-foot perimeter of public entrances.
Restaurants in particular have to have three signs. In addition to the two signs mentioned above, a restaurant must prominently display a "Smoking is prohibited in this restaurant by law," according to Ralston.
Some businesses in Indiana not covered by the new law include: • Bars and taverns.
• Casinos and off-track betting facilities.
• Cigar bars or hookah bars.
• Tobacco retail shops.
• Private clubs whose members vote to allow smoking.
• Home-based businesses whose only employees are family members.
Any business with questions about the new law may go to breatheindiana.com for more information.
Business owners can also request a "tool kit" from the site, which includes the required signage, window clings, posters to hang in the workplace, drink coasters to remind employees of the "no-smoking by law" policy, as well as several pages of information regarding the new law and answers to frequently asked questions.
Locally, for more information or questions businesses, call Ralston: (260) 724-9218.