Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Smoke Free Restaurants in Virginia Q & A

The questions below were answered by Gary Hagy, Virginia Dept. of Health. For additional information contact Gary Hagy – gary.hagy@vdh.virginia.gov

1. If you go into a restaurant and there is smoking, what can you do? First, restaurants can create smoking rooms that are physically separated and properly vented. However, if you observe someone smoking in a non-smoking area you should first discuss with the issue with the manager. If he does not ask the patron to cease smoking, contact the local health department and report the incident. You can also report the incident to local law enforcement
2. Who issues the citations? What is the amount of the citation? Local law enforcement can issue citations. The maximum civil penalty is $25
3. How often can they receive citations? For each day they are in violation
4. What happens if they continually refuse to be smoke free? The law only authorizes a maximum $25 civil penalty. The permit to operate a restaurant is linked to compliance with the new smoking law.

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