HTML> eliminating smoking in public & workplaces


1998 Regular Session

To: Judiciary

By: Senator(s) Nunnelee, Farris, Jordan (24th)

Senate Bill 2628



SECTION 1. Title.

This act shall be known as the Mississippi Clean Indoor Air Act.

SECTION 2. Findings and Purpose.

The State of Mississippi does hereby find that:

Numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke is a major contributor to indoor air pollution, and that breathing secondhand smoke is a cause of disease, including lung cancer, in nonsmokers. At special risk are children, elderly people, individuals with cardiovascular disease, and individuals with impaired respiratory function, including asthmatics and those with obstructive airway disease.

Health hazards induced by breathing secondhand smoke include lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory infection, and decreased respiratory function, including bronchoconstriction and broncho-spasm.

Accordingly, the State of Mississippi finds and declares that the purposes of this act are (1) to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting tobacco in public places and places of employment; and (2) to guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air, and to recognize that the need to breathe smoke-free air shall have priority over the desire to smoke.

SECTION 3. Definitions.

The following words and phrases, whenever used in this act, shall be construed as defined in this section:

(a) "Bar" means an area which is devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption by guests on the premises and in which the serving of food is only incidental to the consumption of such beverages. A bar for the purpose of this definition does not include any establishment where tobacco smoke can filter into any area where smoking is prohibited through a passageway, ventilation system, or any other means. A bar for the purposes of this ordinance shall not include any area where full meals are served, but may include the service of appetizers and snacks.

(b) "Business" means any sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation or other legal entity formed for profit-making purposes, including retail establishments where goods or services are sold as well as professional corporations and other entities where legal, medical, dental, engineering, architectural or other professional services are delivered.

(c) "Employee" means any person who is employed by any employer in the consideration for direct or indirect monetary wages or profit, and any person who volunteers his or her services.

(d) "Employer" means any person, partnership, corporation, including a municipal corporation, or nonprofit entity, which employs the services of one or more individual persons.

(e) "Enclosed area" means all space between a floor and ceiling which is enclosed on all sides by solid walls or windows (exclusive of door or passage ways) which extend from the floor to the ceiling, including all space therein screened by partitions which do not extend to the ceiling or are not solid, "office landscaping" or similar structures.

(f) "Government building" means any building owned, rented, leased, occupied or operated by the state, including the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state government; any county, city, town, or village or any other political subdivision of the state; any public authority, commission, agency, or public benefit corporation; or any other separate corporate instrumentality or unit of state or local government.

(g) "Place of employment" means any enclosed area under the control of a public or private employer which employees normally frequent during the course of employment, including, but not limited to, work areas, employee lounges and rest rooms, conference and class rooms, employee cafeterias and hallways. A private residence is not a "place of employment" unless it is used as a child care facility (as defined in Section 43-20-5, Mississippi Code of 1972), adult day care or health care facility as licensed or regulated by the Mississippi State Department of Public Health.

(h) "Public conveyance" means buses, taxis, trains, trolleys, boats and other means of public transit when used for public conveyance.

(i) "Public meeting" means all meetings open to the public unless held in private residence.

(j) "Public place" means any enclosed area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted, including but not limited to, banks, educational facilities, health facilities, laundromats, public transportation facilities, reception areas, restaurants, retail food production and marketing establishments, retail service establishments, retail stores, theaters and waiting rooms. A private residence is not a "public place."

(k) "Restaurant" means any coffee shop, cafeteria, sandwich stand, private and public school cafeteria, and any other eating establishment which gives or offers for sale food to the public, guests or employees, as well as kitchens in which food is prepared on the premises for serving elsewhere, including catering facilities, except that the term "restaurant" shall not include a cocktail lounge or tavern if said cocktail lounge or tavern is a "bar" as defined in Section 3(a).

(l) "Retail tobacco store" means a retail store utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental.

(m) "Service line" means any indoor line at which one or more persons are waiting for or receiving service of any kind, whether or not such service involves the exchange of money.

(n) "Smoking" means inhaling, exhaling, burning, carrying any lighted cigar or cigarette.

(o) "Sports arena" means sports pavilions, gymnasiums, health spas, boxing arenas, swimming pools, roller and ice rinks, bowling alleys and other similar places where members of the general public assemble either to engage in or witness physical exercise, athletic competition or other sports entertainment events.

SECTION 4. Application to State Facilities.

All enclosed facilities owned by the State of Mississippi shall be subject to the provisions of this act.

SECTION 5. Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places.

(1) Tobacco use shall be prohibited in all enclosed public places within the State of Mississippi, including, but not limited to, the following places:

(a) Elevators.

(b) Rest rooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways and any other common-use areas.

(c) Buses, taxicabs and other means of public conveyance.

(d) Service lines.

(e) Retail stores.

(f) All areas available to and customarily used by the general public in all businesses and nonprofit entities patronized by the public, including but not limited to, banks, laundromats, hotels and motels.

(g) Restaurants that have a seating capacity of seventy-five (75) and over which must have a minimum of one-third (1/3) of the total seating capacity reserved for non-smoking patrons.

(h) Public areas of aquariums, galleries, libraries and museums when open to the public.

(i) Any facility which is primarily used for exhibiting any motion picture, stage, drama, lecture, musical recital or other similar performance, except performers when smoking is part of a stage production.

(j) Sports arenas and convention centers.

(k) Every room, chamber, public meeting or public assembly, including all government buildings. The State Capitol shall be exempted from the prohibitions of this act.

(l) Waiting rooms, hallways, wards and semiprivate rooms of health facilities, including, but not limited to, hospitals, clinics, physical therapy facilities, doctors' offices, dentists' offices, personal care homes, hospices, and birthing facilities.

(m) Indoor lobbies, hallways and other common areas in apartment buildings, condominiums, trailer parks, retirement facilities, nursing homes and other multiple-unit residential facilities.

(n) Polling places during the days and hours of operation.

(o) Pursuant to the federal Pro Children Act of 1994, any school facility that receives federal funds.

(p) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any owner, operator, manager or other person who controls any establishment or facility may declare that entire establishment or facility as a non-smoking establishment.

SECTION 6. Prohibition of Smoking in Places of Employment.

(1) It shall be the responsibility of employers to provide a smoke-free workplace for all employees, but employers are not required to incur any expense to make structural or other physical modifications.

(2) Within six (6) months of the effective date of this act, each employer having an enclosed place of employment shall adopt, implement, make known and maintain a written tobacco use policy which shall contain the following requirements: Tobacco use shall be prohibited in all enclosed facilities within a place of employment without exception. This includes common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, rest rooms, vehicles and all other enclosed facilities.

SECTION 7. Reasonable Distances.

Smoking shall not occur within ten (10) feet of any entrance to a building or passageway outside any enclosed area.

SECTION 8. Where Smoking Not Regulated.

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this act to the contrary, the following areas shall not be subject to the smoking restrictions of this act:

(a) Bars.

(b) Private residences, except when used as a licensed child care facility.

(c) Hotel and motel rooms.

(d) Retail tobacco and convenience stores.

(e) Restaurants, hotel and motel conference or meeting rooms and public and private assembly rooms while these places are being used for private functions.

(f) Such designated gaming areas within casinos, bingo parlors and other such gaming establishments as licensed by the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

(g) The Capitol of the State Mississippi.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any owner, operator, manager or other person who controls any establishment described in this section may declare that entire establishment as a non-smoking establishment.

SECTION 9. Posting of Signs.

(1) Every public place where smoking is prohibited by this act shall have posted at every entrance a conspicuous sign clearly stating that smoking is prohibited.

(2) All ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia shall be removed from any area where smoking is prohibited by this act by the owner, operator, manager or other person having control of such area.

SECTION 10. Enforcement.

(1) Enforcement of this act shall be implemented by any municipality, county and state licensing or regulatory agencies.

(2) Any municipality, county or state licensing or regulatory agency shall require, while an establishment is undergoing otherwise mandated inspections, licensing or certification, a "self-certification" from the owner, manager, operator or other person having control of such establishment that all requirements of this act have been complied with.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, a private citizen may bring legal action to enforce this act.

(4) Any municipality, county and state licensing or regulatory agencies is authorized to adopt all regulations necessary to enforce the provisions of this act.

SECTION 11. Non-retaliation.

No person or employer shall discharge, refuse to hire or in any manner retaliate against any employee, applicant for employment, or customer because such employee, applicant or customer exercises any right to a smoke-free environment afforded by this act.

SECTION 12. Other Applicable Laws.

This act shall not be interpreted or construed to permit smoking where it is otherwise restricted by other applicable laws.

SECTION 13. Severability.

If any provision, clause, sentence or paragraph of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions of this act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

SECTION 14. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.