Workplace Smoking Rules Will Soon Change

May 6 2016 - Health and Safety, Workplace Policies, Workplace Safety - Gail Cecchettini Whaley

Legislation passed this week will change some of the rules relating to smoking in the workplace beginning June 9, 2016.

vaping in the workplace

New rules next month for workplace smoking.

On May 4, Governor Brown signed a package of bills relating to smoking. In part, the new legislation will:

  • Treat the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices that contain nicotine as “smoking” – thus extending existing smoking bans to cover such products.
  • Expand smoke-free workplace protections by getting rid of most of the existing exemptions that permitted smoking in certain work environments, such as bars, hotel lobbies, warehouse facilities and employer-designated smoking break rooms.
  • Expand the workplace smoking ban to include owner-operated businesses.
  • Raise the minimum smoking age from 18 to 21, except for active military personnel.

Because these measures were enacted as part of a special session of the legislature, they generally take effect the 91st day after the special session’s adjournment – which is June 9 in this case.

Other legislation passed as part of the package related to tobacco-retailer licensing fees and to expanding tobacco prevention funds to charter schools.

In related news, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday that it was extending its authority over tobacco products to include “the regulation of electronic nicotine delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes and vape pens), all cigars, hookah (waterpipe) tobacco, pipe tobacco and nicotine gels, among others.”

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

CalChamber’s employment law experts will update member content on HRCalifornia as these new laws go into effect. Not a member? See how HRCalifornia can help you.

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