Smoking Regulations in Florida


§ 386.202 of the Florida Statute states that the purpose of this part is to protect the public health, comfort, and environment by creating areas in public places and at public meetings that are reasonably free from tobacco smoke by providing a uniform statewide maximum code.  It also declares that the Legislature does not intend to inhibit, or obstruct, medical or scientific research or smoking cessation programs approved by the Department of Health.[i]

The law of Florida generally prohibits smoking in enclosed indoor workplace.[ii]  However, certain indoor areas are exempted from the smoking regulations.  These include private residences which are not commercially used to provide child care, adult care, or health care, or any combination thereof, enclosed indoor workplace dedicated to or predominantly for the retail sale of tobacco, tobacco products, and accessories, designated smoking guest room at a public lodging establishment and in any business that meets the definition of a stand-alone bar that otherwise complies with all applicable provisions of the Beverage Law.[iii]  Exemption from smoking regulation is also given to an enclosed indoor workplace, to the extent that tobacco smoking is an integral part of a smoking cessation program approved by the department, or medical or scientific research conducted therein.  However rooms in which tobacco smoking is permitted must comply with the signage requirements as required by law.  Smoking, subject to some restriction is also permitted in customs smoking room in an airport in-transit lounge under the authority and control of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection of the United States Department of Homeland Security.[iv] 

A customs smoking room may be designated by the person in charge of an airport in-transit lounge under the authority and control of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection of the United States Department of Homeland Security.  A customs smoking room may only be designated in an airport in-transit lounge under the authority and control of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection of the United States Department of Homeland Security. A customs smoking room may not be designated in an elevator, restroom, or other common area.  The customs smoking room must conform to the following requirements:

(1)  Work, other than essential services defined in s. 386.203(6), must not be performed in the room at any given time.

(2)  Tobacco smoking must not be permitted in the room while any essential services are being performed in the room.

(3)  Each customs smoking room must be enclosed by physical barriers that are impenetrable by secondhand tobacco smoke and prevent the escape of secondhand tobacco smoke into the enclosed indoor workplace.

(4)  Each customs smoking room must exhaust tobacco smoke directly to the outside and away from air intake ducts, and be maintained under negative pressure, with respect to surrounding spaces, sufficient to contain tobacco smoke within the room.

(5)  Each customs smoking room must comply with the signage requirements in s. 386.206.

Under the law of Florida, the proprietor or other person in charge of an enclosed indoor workplace must develop and implement a policy regarding the smoking prohibitions.[v]  The policy may include procedures to be taken when the proprietor or other person in charge comes to know of the smoking violation in the enclosed indoor workplace.  It should also include a policy which prohibits an employee from smoking in the enclosed indoor workplace.  The person in charge of an enclosed indoor workplace may, at his or her discretion, post “NO SMOKING” signs as deemed appropriate.

A person in charge of an airport terminal that includes a designated customs smoking room must conspicuously post, or cause to be posted, signs stating that no smoking is permitted except in the designated customs smoking room located in the customs area of the airport.[vi]  The letters on the sign so posted must be of reasonable size that can be easily read.  The color, design, and precise locations at which such signs are posted shall be left to the discretion of the person in charge of the premises.

A proprietor or other person in charge of an enclosed indoor workplace where a smoking cessation program, medical research, or scientific research is conducted or performed must conspicuously post, or cause to be posted, signs stating that smoking is permitted for such purposes in designated areas in the enclosed indoor workplace.[vii]  Each sign posted pursuant to this section must have letters of reasonable size which can be easily read. The color, design, and precise locations at which such signs are posted shall be left to the discretion of the person in charge of the premises.

The law requires announcements about the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act to be made regularly over public address systems in terminals of public transportation carriers located in metropolitan statistical areas with populations over 230,000 according to the latest census.[viii]  The announcements should be made at least every 30 minutes and shall be in appropriate languages.  Each announcement must include a statement to the effect that Florida is a clean indoor air state and that smoking is not allowed except as provided in this part.

It is unlawful in Florida for any person under 18 years of age to smoke tobacco in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight.[ix] This section does not apply to any person occupying a moving vehicle or within a private residence.

Public agencies responsible for the management and maintenance of government buildings shall report observed violations to the department.[x] The State Fire Marshal shall report to the department observed violations found during its periodic inspections conducted under its regulatory authority.

The department or the Division of Hotels and Restaurants or the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, upon notification of observed violations, shall issue to the proprietor or other person in charge of such enclosed indoor workplace a notice to comply with the legal provisions relating to smoking.[xi]  If the person fails to comply within 30 days after receipt of the notice, the department or the Division of Hotels and Restaurants or the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall assess a civil penalty against the person of not less than $250 and not to exceed $750 for the first violation.  For a subsequent violation, the penalty shall not be less than $500 and not more than $2,000.  If a person refuses to comply with this part, after having been assessed such penalty, the department or the Division of Hotels and Restaurants or the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation may file a complaint in the circuit court of the county in which the enclosed indoor workplace is located to require compliance.  All fine moneys collected pursuant to these provisions shall be used by the department for children’s medical services programs pursuant to the provisions of part I of chapter 391.[xii]

For violation of smoking regulations relating to smoking near school property, the law enforcement officer may issue a citation in such form as prescribed by a county or municipality.[xiii] 

 A person issued with a citation is deemed to be charged with a civil infraction punishable by a maximum civil penalty not to exceed $25, or 50 hours of community service or, where available, successful completion of a school-approved anti-tobacco “alternative to suspension” program.[xiv]

A person who fails to comply with the directions on the citation is deemed to waive his or her right to contest the citation and an order to show cause may be issued by the court.[xv]

Under the laws of Florida, it is unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to smoke tobacco in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight. However, this rule does not apply to any person occupying a moving vehicle or within a private residence.[xvi]

Any person who violates s. 386.204 commits a non criminal violation and is punishable by a fine of not more than $ 100 for the first violation and not more than $ 500 for each subsequent violation. Jurisdiction shall be with the appropriate county court.[xvii]

 [i] Fla. Stat. § 386.202

[ii] Fla. Stat. § 386.204

[iii] Fla. Stat. § 386.2045

[iv] http://www.flsenate.gov/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0386/ch0386.htm

[v] Fla. Stat. § 386.206 (1)

[vi] Fla. Stat. § 386.206 (2)

[vii] Fla. Stat. § 386.206 (3)

[viii] Fla. Stat. § 386.211

[ix] Fla. Stat. § 386.212 (1)

[x] Fla. Stat. § 386.207  (2)

[xi] Fla. Stat. § 386.207(3)

[xii] Fla. Stat. § 386.207 (4)

[xiii] Fla. Stat. § 386.212 (2)

[xiv] Fla. Stat. § 386.212 (3)

[xv] Fla. Stat. § 386.212 (4)

[xvi] Fla. Stat. § 386.212

[xvii] Fla. Stat. § 386.208