St. Louis Smoke Free Air Act Arrives with the New Year

City of St. Louis will be smoke-free on Jan. 2, 2011

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Published: 01-01-2011

After several years of discussion and debate, the City of St. Louis will be smoke-free on January 2, 2011, in accordance with the Smoke Free Air Act (Ordinance #68481). The main goal of the act is to improve indoor environmental conditions of public places and to protect public health. The act was adopted by the Board of Aldermen to enhance public health in the City by working to eliminate secondhand smoke in public places and in workplaces.

The City's new smoking ordinance prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places and enclosed places of employment. The ordinance includes, but is not limited to, the entrance or exit lobbies, elevators, restrooms, common areas of multi-unit dwellings, aquariums, bingo facilities, polling places, convention facilities, shopping malls, sports arenas, and restaurants. Vehicles that constitute places of employment are also subject to the St. Louis Smoke Free Air Act.

Smoking will still be allowed in private residences, except when used as a licensed day care, licensed adult day care, or licensed health care facility. Local hotels and motels can allow smoking in 20 percent of their rooms. Other exempt areas include private clubs, outdoor areas of places of employment, tobacco retail stores and casino gaming areas. Bars of 2,000 square feet or less, which have food sales of 25 percent or less of sales and which do not admit persons under 21 to enter are also exempt.

Employers and persons in control of public places are required to notify individuals that smoking is not allowed in an area by posting signs where smoking is prohibited. Penalties for persons violating the regulations are classified as infractions and may include fines not to exceed $50. Controllers of public places who violate the regulation may receive fines up to $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation within one year of the first offense and $500 for subsequent violations within that year. Controllers of public places may also be subject to suspension or revocation of permits or licenses for the premises the violations occurred on.

The City of St. Louis Department of Health has been charged with enforcing the ordinance. Health inspectors will begin enforcement on Jan. 2, 2011. The Health Department anticipates enforcement proceeding being predominately initiated by citizen complaints and the Department's routine inspection process. 

To report a violation of the St. Louis Smoke Free Air Act, please call the Citizens' Service Bureau at (314) 622-4800 or send them a tweet at @stlcsb.

To view or obtain a copy of the ordinance, see the associated documents.

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