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The Ohio Smoke Free Workplace Law

Ohio voters approved a smoking ban in November of 2006 which prohibits smoking in public places and places of employment. The ban provides a statewide minimum standard of protection from the health hazards associated with exposure to secondhand smoke.

Enforcement of the ban by the Ohio Department of Health became effective May 3, 2007. Many of Ohio’s local health departments have partnered with the Ohio Department of Health to help provide enforcement of the law and rules, and have been designated to enforce the Smoking Ban in certain areas of Ohio.

A Report of Violation Prompts an Investigation

A report of a smoking violation is necessary to prompt an investigation by the Ohio Department of Health. If you witness a violation of the smoking ban, report the violation to the Ohio Department of Health for investigation by calling 1-866-559-OHIO (1-866-559-6446) or emailing  

The law prohibits retaliation against anyone for reporting a violation, against businesses for enforcing the law, and against professionals for enforcing the law. A report of retaliation will also be followed up with an investigation. While anonymous complaints are permitted, it will be necessary to provide contact information when reporting retaliation so the report can be thoroughly investigated.

The smoke free workplace law does not prohibit smoking outdoors, and does not specify a distance from an entrance or exit that smoking can occur. However, smokers must stand far enough away from the door of a building that smoke does not enter the building.  If smoke is entering the building a report of violation can be made for infiltration. 

The smoking law gives proprietors the right to declare a No Smoking area by posting a No Smoking sign in accordance with the law O.R.C. 3794.06. The sign should define the No Smoking areas (e.g. within 25’ of a door or window) and provide a phone number to report violations (not the state enforcement line). While local municipalities and proprietors are permitted to enact laws that are more stringent than the Ohio Smoke Free Workplace Law, enforcement of these laws is not conducted under the state law.

Outdoor Patios

To be exempt from regulation, a covered outdoor patio must not have more than two walls and be at least 50 percent open. An uncovered outdoor patio may have walls on all four sides. The outdoor patio must allow thorough, unobstructed circulation of air to all areas of the patio, must be physically separated from an enclosed area(s) and smoke must not migrate into the No Smoking area(s) from the patio. 

No Smoking Signs

No Smoking signs must be posted in public places and places of employment at all entrances/exits and in areas of transition between smoking permitted to No Smoking areas. No Smoking signs must comply with the requirements of O.R.C. 3794.06 and OAC 3701-52-06 

Ohio Smoke-Free Workplace Act

In 2006, Ohio voters passed the Ohio Smoke-Free Workplace Act.  The Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program actively assists Ohioans with information about the clean indoor air act. For questions concerning Smoke-Free Ohio, call 1-866-634-7654. To report a violation of Ohio’s clean indoor air act, call 1-866-559-6446. 

For more information about the smoking ban please visit:

Analyses of the Impact of Ohio's Smoke-Free Workplace Act

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released a collection of five reports on Sept. 1, 2011 that analyzed the health, behavioral and economic impacts of the statewide smoking ban.

Executive Summary

Analyses of the Impact of Ohio's Smoke-Free Workplace Act

Press Release