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Smoking and E-Cigarette Workplace Laws by State
Author: Vincent K. Bates, Littler
Each state has its own laws and regulations regarding smoking in the workplace, which may include the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vaping products. Variations in the laws make it challenging for employers, especially multistate employers, to stay compliant.
The following chart summarizes workplace smoking and e-cigarette laws for private employers in each state and the District of Columbia, including:
- Whether smoking and/or e-cigarette use is prohibited;
- Abbreviated definitions of relevant terms provided under law, e.g. smoking, workplace;
- Posting and policy requirements, where applicable; and
- Whether employers may provide smoking rooms/areas.
In states that require employers to post "No Smoking" signs but have not issued a government poster, a sign that includes 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, may be used. States that do not prohibit smoking in the workplace, or where workplace smoking laws do not address requirements regarding a policy, posting or smoking area, are marked None.
A number of states also have laws that prohibit employers from disciplining or retaliating against employees who smoke during nonwork hours; these laws are covered in the 50-State Chart Employee Off-Duty Behavior Laws by State. Also, most states typically provide exceptions for places where smoking prohibitions do not apply, which are addressed in the Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking sections of the Employment Law Guide. The following are the most common exceptions:
- Private residences, unless used to provide child care or adult care;
- Certain bars, lounges and private social clubs;
- Retail tobacco stores; and
- Designated hotel and motel rooms.
Note that this chart only addresses private employers and does not include local laws that address smoking and e-cigarette use in the workplace. This chart also does not address the inhalation of marijuana. For information on state laws regarding marijuana use, please see Marijuana Laws by State.
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