Last updated: August 21, 2023
Duties / Penalties
The law requires employers in indoor workplaces to post signs announcing that the air surrounding smoking areas and cabins may be harmful to health. The law does not specifically state that owners/supervisors of businesses, such as healthcare institutions, education institutions, hotels, restaurants and bars must post signs saying that smoking is prohibited except in designated areas. The law does not specify any penalties for employers that fail to post signs.
The law does not impose a duty upon business owners, employers, or supervisors to remove ashtrays from the premises.
To align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should impose a duty upon the owner, manager, or other person in charge of the premises to remove ashtrays from the premises and specify appropriate penalties for violations.
Steps to require a person to stop smoking (e.g., warn, discontinue service, call authorities)
The law requires that employers, owners, restauranteurs, managers and leaseholders ensure that smoking only takes place in accordance with the rules of the Act on Smoke-free Environments. This is interpreted to include a duty to take steps to require a person to stop smoking where smoking is prohibited. Any employer, owner, restauranteur, manager, or leaseholder that violates this duty may be penalized by “fines”, which are unspecified in the Act. Companies may also be subject to criminal liability.
The law aligns with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines with respect to the duty to take steps to require a person to stop smoking. To more fully align, the law should specify fines, provide for increasing fines for repeated violations, and provide for additional penalties such as license suspension or revocation.
Not to smoke where prohibited
While the law imposes a duty on employers, owners, restauranteurs, managers and leaseholders to ensure there is compliance with the law, the law does not expressly impose a duty upon smokers not to smoke where prohibited. Nor does the law impose penalties on smokers.
To align with FCTC Art. 8 and the FCTC Art. 8 Guidelines, the law should expressly impose a duty upon smokers not to smoke where prohibited and specify appropriate penalties for violations.