The US state of California, for the first time in over 20 years, has divided to change its smoking laws that are enforced throughout the state. These laws impact the way people consume cigarettes and other devices that are used for their nicotine-delivery methods.
Now, some workplaces that had an exemption from the previous smoke-free law are no longer in existence and the minimum smoking age has been raised from 18 to the 21. Also, the law equates vaporizers and e-cigarette, which are quickly gaining popularity in every corner of the world, including California, with regular tobacco products in these new smoking restrictions.
Here are the most important details about the changes and how will they reflect themselves into the California’s workforce.
The Impact of the Changes
The changed laws include those which cover all state’s employers, even those businesses that are owner-operated, which allow non-employees like clients or customer access to the same workplace. Now, the single exception from these smoking restrictions is those businesses that are operated by a single employee-own with no access to the outside whatsoever.
Apart from this, employers can still allow the act of smoking in very specific workplaces like truck driver cabins which do not have any other employees who do not smoke present at that time. Business premises like tobacco shops can have private smoking areas like lounges where smoking restrictions do not apply.
Old Smoking Restriction Laws
The old laws had several big exceptions to their restrictions. Firstly, they did not cover those employers who have five or fewer employees. Before the change in the law, a company could allow smoking in their official break room.
Finally, the old law did not include workplaces operating mostly in the hospitality industry like hotel lobbies, taverns, bars, and banquet rooms, but also failed to cover places like warehouses. The new laws take away all of these exceptions aside from a few very narrowly-defined place of business.
The last major change brought about by the new law is the recognition of all nicotine delivery products, electronic and traditional, as virtually the same. This means that electronic devices like e-cigarettes and vaporizers are seen as identical in the eyes of the law as regular cigarettes.
Because of this, it is now a crime to sell vaporizers to a person under the age of 21, while it is also a crime to use them in a place that restricts smoking on their premises.
Bottom Line of the Law Change
The changes in the law mean that almost all businesses and workplaces are now smoke-free, regardless of the number of their employees or their industry. The same is true for electronic devices used for smoking, which are now effectively banned from the same location in the same way as traditional cigarettes.