2006 Regular Session
To: Conservation and Water Resources
By: Representative Fleming
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI CLEAN INDOOR AIR ACT; TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS OF CERTAIN TERMS; TO PROHIBIT SMOKING IN ALL GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; TO PROVIDE THAT ALL STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL LICENSING OR REGULATORY AGENCIES SHALL ENFORCE THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON OR AN EMPLOYER SHALL NOT DISCHARGE, REFUSE TO HIRE OR IN ANY MANNER RETALIATE AGAINST ANY EMPLOYEE, APPLICANT FOR EMPLOYMENT OR CUSTOMER BECAUSE THAT PERSON EXERCISES ANY RIGHT UNDER THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Clean Indoor Air Act."
SECTION 2. (1) The State of Mississippi finds 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.
(2) Health hazards induced by breathing secondhand smoke include lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory infection and decreased respiratory function, including bronchoconstriction and bronchospasm.
(3) Accordingly, the State of Mississippi finds and declares that the purposes of this act are:
(a) To protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in governmental buildings;
(b) To guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air in governmental buildings; and
(c) To recognize that the need to breathe smoke-free air shall have priority over the desire to smoke in governmental buildings.
SECTION 3. The following words and phrases shall have the meanings as defined in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Government building" means any building owned, rented, leased, occupied or operated by any county, municipality 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. The term "government building" does not include state office buildings as defined in Section 29-5-161.
(b) "Smoking" means inhaling, exhaling, burning, carrying or otherwise possessing any lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or any other object or device of any form that contains lighted tobacco or any other smoking product.
SECTION 4. Smoking is prohibited in all government buildings in the State of Mississippi. However, any county, municipality 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 may designate areas for smoking within a government building under the jurisdiction of that governing authority.
SECTION 5. (1) Every government building 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 the area.
SECTION 6. (1) This act shall be enforced by all state, county and municipal licensing or regulatory agencies.
(2) Any state, county or municipal licensing or regulatory agency may adopt all regulations necessary to enforce the provisions of this act.
SECTION 7. A person or employer shall not discharge, refuse to hire or in any manner retaliate against any employee, applicant for employment or customer because the employee, applicant or customer exercises any right to a smoke-free environment afforded by this act.
SECTION 8. This act shall not be interpreted or construed to permit smoking where it is otherwise restricted by other applicable laws.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.