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Smoking Regulations in Utah

The “Utah Indoor Clean Air Act” contains the law regulating smoking in Utah.  The Act generally prohibits smoking in all places of public access in Utah. “Place of public access” means any enclosed indoor place of business, commerce, banking, financial service, or other service-related activity.  Such place may be publicly or privately owned and may or may not be operated for profit. The general public will have regular access to the places of public access and this includes buildings, offices, shops, elevators, or restrooms, means of transportation or common carrier waiting rooms, restaurants, cafes, or cafeterias, taverns and cabarets, shopping malls, retail stores, grocery stores, or arcades,  libraries, theaters, concert halls, museums, art galleries, planetariums, historical sites, auditoriums, or arenas, barber shops, hair salons, or Laundromats, and sports or fitness facilities. [i]   

There are certain exceptions to the prohibition on smoking.  Smoking is therefore allowed in owner-operator shops or establishments that are not commonly open to the public and have no employees other than the owner-operator. Utah also permits smoking in guest rooms in hotels, motels, “bed and breakfast” lodging facilities, and other similar lodging facilities.  However, smoking in the common areas of facilities, including dining areas and lobby areas.  Smoking is also allowed in separate enclosed smoking areas: located in the passenger terminals of an international airport; vented directly to the outdoors; and certified, by a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning engineer licensed by the state, to prevent the drift of any smoke to any nonsmoking area of the terminal.[ii]

The law of Utah mandates that places where smoking is permitted should meet with certain requirements.   The enclosed area where smoking is permitted must be designed and operated to prevent exposure of persons outside the area to tobacco smoke generated in the area.  If a lodging facility permits smoking in designated smoking- allowed guest rooms, or if a nursing home, assisted living facility, small health care facility, or hospital with a certified swing-bed program permits smoking in designated smoking-allowed private residential sleeping rooms, the facility’s air handling system or systems must not allow air from any smoking-allowed area to mix with air in or to be used in any part of the facility which is a place of public access, in another room designated as a non-smoking room; or in common areas of the facility, including dining areas, lobby areas and hallways.

In case the status of a room is converted from a smoking to a non- smoking room, then the operator should perform a full deep cleaning of the room.  Smoking is also permitted in vehicles that are workplaces when not occupied by nonsmokers. [iii]

In private homes also smoking is regulated if a person who is not a resident in the house comes to the house on a regular basis as part of his/her employment.  Smoking is also regulated in private dwelling in which a business or service is operated and into which the public enters.[iv]

The law also makes it clear that an employer may not discriminate or take any adverse action against an employee or applicant because that person has sought enforcement of the provisions of the smoking policy of the workplace or otherwise protests the smoking of others.[v]

The law lays down penalties in case of violation of the smoking regulation.  A first violation of the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act is a civil penalty of not more than $100.  A second and subsequent violation is a civil penalty of $100 to $500. The authorities responsible for enforcement are the State Department of Health and Local Health Departments.[vi]

[i] 26-38-2 (2)

[ii] 26-38-3

[iii] http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r392/r392-510.htm#T1 (R392-510-6)

[iv] http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r392/r392-510.htm#T1 (R392-510-11)

[v] http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r392/r392-510.htm#T1 (R392-510-13)

[vi] 26-38-8

Inside Smoking Regulations in Utah