Non Smoking Signs
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No smoking signs Posting no smoking signs helps fulfill employers' legal and ethical obligation to make a reasonable effort towards smoking prevention.
 
 
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When you need no smoking signs

No smoking signs can be used in a range of public and private settings, most of all because they help to limit health risks, and they serve as important warnings in potentially dangerous work environments. Moreover, smoke-free offices, warehouses, and commercial properties have lower maintenance expenses and insurance premiums.These signs also contribute to greater productivity and lower rates of absenteeism due to medical issues.

Although most states now prohibit smoking in all workplaces, people don't always respect the law or may erroneously assume that they can smoke in areas that aren't clearly defined. To cite just one example, New York State's Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in a long list of indoor areas including:

  • Places of employment

  • Bars and restaurants

  • Enclosed indoor swimming areas

  • Public transportation including all ticketing, boarding and waiting areas

  • All places of employment where services are offered to children

  • All schools, including school grounds

  • All public and private colleges, universities and educational institutions

  • General hospitals and residential health-care facilities

  • Commercial establishments used for any trade, vocation or charitable activity

  • All indoor arenas

  • Zoos

According to the law, employers are prohibited from providing a smoking-permitted break room and cannot allow employees with a private office to smoke in that space either. Generally speaking, businesses must make a "reasonable effort to prevent smoking." Using no smoking signs effectively and appropriately constitutes a reasonable effort and enables business to avoid the steep fines that come with non-compliance.

Nationwide, the situation is similar. In Illinois, the Department of Public Health is very clear about the appearance and placement of no smoking signs, dictating that "'No Smoking' signs or the international 'No Smoking' symbol, consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it, must be clearly and conspicuously posted in each public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited." Employers and property owners across the country can expect to encounter similar language where smoking bans have been enacted by state legislators.

The District of Columbia is also explicit about compliance when it comes to their smoke-free workplaces law, offering the following guidelines to employers:

  • Remove all ashtrays from the premises.

  • Update your workplace smoking policy to reflect the new law.

  • Post no smoking signs at all entrances as required, including bathrooms, stairwells on each floor, bulletin boards, and other prominent places.

  • Talk with your customers and employees about the law and prepare them for the changes.

Each state exempts certain businesses, for example, those that derive a percentage of their gross annual income from the sale of smoking products—like cigar or hookah lounges. If any smoking regulations are violated, the penalty for signage violations is usually a fine, with each day constituting a separate offense. Amounts vary from state to state, and usually increase if a business accumulates more than one infraction.

Prominent placement, bold or bright lettering and an unambiguous message are the surest ways to make sure a no smoking sign is compliant and conveyed effectively to your patrons and staff. As a final, additional measure, place smoking area or smoking permitted signs in appropriate areas to give habitual smokers an area to light up, thereby reducing infractions and possible fines.

 
 
 
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