Hattiesburg, MS Anti-Smoking Ordinance

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Hattiesburg, MS, US

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Type: Ordinance

Status: Adopted on 11/21/06

Source File: http://smokefreehattiesburg.com/OrdPages.html

Text:

ORDINANCE ELIMINATING SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT

General Description
This Article shall be known as the City of Hattiesburg Smokefree Air Act of 2006.

The smoking of tobacco is a form of air pollution, a positive danger to health, and a material public health hazard.

“The scientific evidence is now indisputable: secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults.” (Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., F.A.C.S., Vice Admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service. HHS Press Office, June 27, 2006)

Accordingly, the Hattiesburg City Council finds and declares that the purposes of this ordinance are as follows:

1. To protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment; and

2. To guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smokefree air, and to recognize that the need to breathe smokefree air shall have priority over the desire to smoke.

Definitions
The following words and phrases, whenever used in this Article, shall be construed as defined in this Section:

A. “Attached Bar” means a bar area of a restaurant.

B. “Bar” means an establishment that is devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption by guests on the premises and in which the serving of food is only incidental to the consumption of those beverages, including but not limited to, taverns, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, and cabarets.

C. “Business” means a sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation, or other business entity, either for-profit or not-for-profit, including retail establishments where goods or services are sold as well as professional corporations and other entities where legal, medical, dental, engineering, architectural, or other professional services are delivered.

D. “Employee” means a person who is employed by an employer in consideration for direct or indirect monetary wages or profit, and a person who volunteers his or her services for a non-profit entity.

E. “Employer” means a person, business, partnership, association, corporation, including a municipal corporation, trust, or non-profit entity that employs the services of one or more individual persons.

F. “Enclosed Area” means all space between a floor and ceiling that is enclosed on all sides by solid walls or windows (exclusive of doorways), which extend from the floor to the ceiling.

G. “Health Care Facility” means an office or institution providing care or treatment of diseases, whether physical, mental, or emotional, or other medical, physiological, or psychological conditions, including but not limited to, hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals or other clinics, including weight control clinics, nursing homes, homes for the aging or chronically ill, laboratories, and offices of surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, physicians, dentists, and all specialists within these professions. This definition shall include all waiting rooms, hallways, private rooms, semiprivate rooms, and wards within health care facilities.

H. “Place of Employment” means an area under the control of a public or private employer that employees normally frequent during the course of employment, including, but not limited to, work areas, employee lounges, restrooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, employee cafeterias, hallways, and vehicles. A private residence is not a “place of employment” unless it is used as a child care, adult day care, or health care facility.

I. “Public Place” means an enclosed area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted, including but not limited to, banks, educational facilities, health care facilities, hotel and motel lobbies, laundry facilities, public transportation facilities, reception areas, restaurants, retail food production and marketing establishments, retail service establishments, retail stores, shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters, and waiting rooms. A private residence is not a “public place” unless it is used as a child care, adult day care, or health care facility.

J. “Restaurant” means an eating establishment, including but not limited to, coffee shops, cafeterias, sandwich stands, and private and public school cafeterias, which gives or offers for sale food to the public, guests, or employees, as well as kitchens and catering facilities in which food is prepared on the premises for serving elsewhere. The term “restaurant” shall include an attached bar.

K. “Retail Tobacco Store” means a retail store utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental.

L. “Shopping Mall” means an enclosed public walkway or hall area that serves to connect retail or professional establishments.

M. “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other lighted tobacco product in any manner or in any form.

N. “Sports Arena” means sports pavilions, stadiums, gymnasiums, health spas, boxing arenas, swimming pools, roller and ice rinks, bowling alleys, and other similar places where members of the general public assemble to engage in physical exercise, participate in athletic competition, or witness sports or other events.

O. “Hotel and motel” means any commercial establishment that offers rooms that contain a bed and toilet facilities to the general public for rent that is not an apartment complex or home.

Application of Article to City-Owned Facilities
All enclosed facilities, including buildings and vehicles owned, leased, or operated by the City of Hattiesburg, shall be subject to the provisions of this Article.

Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places
Smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed public places within the City of Hattiesburg, including but not limited to, the following places:

A. Aquariums, galleries, libraries, museums and zoos.

B. Areas available to and customarily used by the general public in businesses and nonprofit entities patronized by the public, including but not limited to, professional offices, banks, laundry facilities, hotels, and motels.

C. Bingo facilities.

D. Convention facilities.

E. Educational facilities, both public and private.

F. Elevators.

G. Facilities primarily used for exhibiting a motion picture, stage performance, drama, lecture, musical recital, or other similar performance.

H. Health care facilities.

I. Hotel and motel lobbies.

J. Licensed child care and adult day care facilities, also per Section _____ of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended.

K. Lobbies, hallways, and other common areas in apartment buildings, condominiums, trailer parks, retirement facilities, nursing homes, and other multiple-unit residential facilities.

L. Polling places.

M. Public transportation facilities, including buses and taxicabs, under the authority of the City of Hattiesburg, and ticket, boarding, and enclosed waiting areas of public transit depots.

N. Restaurants, including attached bars.

O. Restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, and other common-use areas.

P. Retail stores.

Q. Rooms, chambers, places of meeting or public assembly, including school buildings, under the control of an agency, board, commission, committee or council of the City or a political subdivision of the State, to the extent the place is subject to the jurisdiction of the City.

R. Shopping malls.

S. Sports arenas, including enclosed places in outdoor arenas.

Prohibition of Smoking in Places of Employment

A. Smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed facilities within places of employment without exception. This includes common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms, vehicles, and all other enclosed facilities.

B. This prohibition on smoking shall be communicated to all existing employees by the effective date of this Article and to all prospective employees upon their application for employment.

Reasonable Distance
Smoking is prohibited within fifteen (15) feet of public entrances to said enclosed areas, so as to insure that smoke does not enter the area through entrances, windows, ventilation systems, or other means.

Where Smoking Not Regulated
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article to the contrary, the following areas shall be exempt from the provisions of this ordinance: A. Private residences, except when used as a licensed child care, adult day care, or health care facility.

B. Outdoor areas of places of employment except those covered by the Reasonable Distance provisions of this ordinance.

Declaration of Establishment as Nonsmoking
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, an owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of an establishment, facility, or outdoor area may declare that entire establishment, facility, or outdoor area as a nonsmoking place. Smoking shall be prohibited in any place in which a sign conforming to the requirements of this ordinance is posted.

Posting of Signs

A. “No Smoking” signs or 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) shall be clearly and conspicuously posted in every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited by this Article, by the owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of that place.

B. Every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited by this Article shall have posted at every entrance a conspicuous sign clearly stating that smoking is prohibited.

C. All ashtrays shall be removed from any area where smoking is prohibited by this ordinance by the owner, operator, manager, or other person having control of the area.

Nonretaliation; Nonwaiver of Rights

A. No person or employer shall discharge, refuse to hire, or in any manner retaliate against an employee, applicant for employment, or customer because that employee, applicant, or customer exercises any rights afforded by this ordinance or reports or attempts to prosecute a violation of said ordinance.

B. An employee who works in a setting where an employer allows smoking does not waive or otherwise surrender any legal rights the employee may have against the employer or any other party.

Enforcement

A. This Article shall be enforced by the City Police Department or special designee by Mayor.

B. Notice of the provisions of this ordinance shall be given to all applicants for a business license in the City of Hattiesburg.

C. Any citizen who desires to register a complaint under this Ordinance may initiate enforcement with the Police Department or Mayor special designee.

D. The Health Department, Fire Department, or their designees shall, while an establishment is undergoing otherwise mandated inspections, inspect for compliance with this ordinance.

E. An owner, manager, operator, or employee of an establishment regulated by this ordinance shall inform persons violating this ordinance of the appropriate provisions thereof.

F. Notwithstanding any other provision of this ordinance, an employee or private citizen may bring legal action to enforce this ordinance.

G. In addition to the remedies provided by the provisions of this Section, the Mayor or any person aggrieved by the failure of the owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of a public place or a place of employment to comply with the provisions of this ordinance may apply for injunctive relief to enforce those provisions in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Violations and Penalties

A. Any person who violates any provision of this ordinance may be subject to a fine of no more than ($100) for the first violation and no more than ($200) for the second violation and no more than ($500) for the third and subsequent violations.

B. In addition to the fines established by this Section, violation of this ordinance by a person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment may result in the suspension or revocation of any permit or license issued to the person for the premises on which the violation occurred.

C. Violation of this ordinance is hereby declared to be a serious public health hazard, which may be abated by the City of Hattiesburg by restraining order, preliminary and permanent injunction, or other means provided for by law, and the City may take action to recover the costs of the public health hazard abatement.

D. Each instance a violation of this ordinance occurs shall be considered a separate and distinct violation.

Public Education
The City of Hattiesburg shall engage in a continuing program to explain and clarify the purposes and requirements of this ordinance to citizens affected by it, and to guide owners, operators, and managers in their compliance with it. The program may include publication of a brochure for affected businesses and individuals explaining the provisions of this ordinance.

Other Applicable Laws
This ordinance shall not be interpreted or construed to permit smoking where it is otherwise restricted by other applicable laws.

Liberal Construction
This ordinance shall be liberally construed so as to further its purposes.

Severability
If any provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect the other provisions of this ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are declared to be severable.

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