Many states have laws outlawing smoking in public venues, such as in dining places, sporting events and even in bars and a lot of private clubs. The earliest smoking ban dates back to 1936 when Milwaukee, Wisconsin banned smoking on buses.
Since then states and municipalities have passed numerous laws, either limiting smoking in public areas or with outright bans on smoking in public areas. There are now 35 states which outlaw smoking in public areas areas, while 26 states only outlaw tobacco use in the workplace.
This number does not include the states where you’ll find separate areas for in-door smoking. Nevertheless, as more non-smokers jumped on the healthy air bandwagon, more states have made their bans more stringent.
There may also be some disarray about various state laws and regulations, especially concerning where smoking is authorized. Many states stipulate where the no smoking ban begins, such as within 15 feet of any entrance in Ohio, although businesses have expanded that area for employees.
Some businesses tell employees they can not smoke anyplace on company property while some have established a 50-foot demarcation line. Employees found violating the policy can be subject to disciplinary action up to, and including termination.
Mainly because they feel smoking bans have hurt their business, most of the smoking ban opponents are bar owners. While protecting non-smoking patrons along with employees has been the premise for many bans, companies have found ways to work around the bans in some areas.
Those bars and restaurants with a little extra room have chosen to open outdoor patio areas to allow patrons to smoke and eat, without legal issues.
A few states have allowed for exemptions in these areas although some hold steadfast to the ban, outlawing smoking completely on the business property. Typically, businesses offering smoking patio areas provide servers who are not worried about smoke, or who are also smokers.