Smoking Regulations in Maine

22 M.R.S. § 1578-B of the Maine Revised Statutes prohibits smoking in elementary and secondary schools.  The law prohibits smoking, including carrying or having in possession a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other object, giving off or containing any substance giving off smoke, and the use of smokeless tobacco.[i]

§ 1580-B prohibits smoking in hospitals.  People are prohibited from smoking tobacco or any other substance in any enclosed area of any hospital. However, a hospital may establish an enclosed and adequately ventilated smoking area for patient use.  At the same time, a hospital can also designate the entire hospital campus, both buildings and grounds, as a nonsmoking area.[ii]

Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed areas of public places, outdoor eating areas as provided in section 1550 and all rest rooms made available to the public. In the case of a child care facility that is not home-based, smoking is also prohibited in a facility-designated motor vehicle within 12 hours before transporting a child who is in the care of the child care facility, and whenever such a child is present in the vehicle. Smoking is also prohibited in outdoor areas of the facility where children may be present. [iii]

The law of Maine permits use of tobacco in classrooms as part of a bona fide demonstration during a class lesson, when prior notice is given to the school’s administrator.[iv]  Smoking is also permitted indoors only in a designated smoking area and only if the public place which it serves is an off-track betting facility or a simulcast racing facility at a commercial track.  Such designated smoking area must be clearly marked and designed to prevent smoke from reaching any enclosed area of a public place where smoking is prohibited and shall be located in a room that is not a common area.  The area must have floor-to-ceiling structural partitions such that the ceiling and walls are permanently attached to one another.  The place must have a door that is kept closed at all times except for ingress or egress.  A sign containing at least 3″ letters and numbers must be posted in the designated smoking area stating the maximum occupancy. (e.g., Maximum Occupancy: 6).   There must also be an exhaust mechanism for the ventilation of the designated smoking area.[v]

In work places, the employer shall establish, or negotiate through the collective bargaining process, a written policy concerning smoking and nonsmoking by employees.  The policy of the employer should prohibit smoking except in Designated Smoking Areas and the Designated Smoking Areas should be described in the written policy.  The employer must ensure that smoking in the business facility is in accordance with the written policy.  The employer should post and supervise the implementation of the written policy and also provide a copy of the policy to any employee upon request.[vi]

CMR 10-144-250 of Code of Maine Rules makes it unlawful for any employer to discharge, discipline or discriminate against any employees for the reason that the employee assisted in the supervision or enforcement of the Workplace Smoking Act or the rules.[vii]

A violation of the smoking rules constitutes a civil violation for which a fine of $ 100 may be imposed.  A fine of up to $ 1,500 may be adjudged for each violation in cases when a person engages in conduct that shows lack of good faith in complying with the rules relating to smoking.  A person found smoking in a public place, or the owner who fails to post or supervise the implementation of a smoke-free public place, shall all constitute a separate offense and enforcement actions for violations may be brought against any person smoking in a public place, the owner of a public place, or both.[viii]

[i] 22 M.R.S. § 1578-B

[ii] 22 M.R.S. § 1580-B

[iii] CMR 10-144-249

[iv] 22 M.R.S. § 1578-B

[v] CMR 10-144-249

[vi] CMR 10-144-250(3)

[vii] CMR 10-144-250(5)

[viii] CMR 10-144-250


Inside Smoking Regulations in Maine