NO PUBLIC SMOKING OR VAPING
The City of Ponchatoula has joined the almost 700 cities nationwide in going smoke-free. The City’s new smoke-free ordinance goes into effect on May 12, 2019. In addition to smoking restrictions that already exist under state law, there will be new restrictions on smoking and vaping (use of electronic smoking devices) in many locations across the city.
The City of Ponchatoula will host a smoking ban town hall educational meeting in the City Council Chambers May 1, 2019, at 5:30 PM. We encourage anyone wishing to learn more about the new law to attend.
This ordinance protects the public’s health by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and encouraging smokers to quit. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at work are more likely to develop heart disease or lung cancer, and approximately 1,000 children and adults in Louisiana die each year from secondhand smoke exposure. Tobacco use-the leading preventable cause of death in the United States-causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases (such as emphysema) and diabetes. More than 20 million people in the United States have died from smoking-related diseases since 1964, including 2.5 million nonsmokers as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Private homes, unless a group home, child care, adult day care, or health care facility is operated therein or unless it is a common area of a multi-unit dwelling
- Private vehicles when a child under 13 is NOT present
- Outdoor seating and serving areas, balconies, courtyards of bars, restaurants
- Tobacco businesses and electronic smoking device businesses (vape shops)
- Cigar bars and Hookah bars, as defined in the ordinance
- Hotels and motels
- Schools (preschool to post-secondary) State law
- Common areas of multi-unit housing, including apartment complexes and condos Buildings and vehicles owned, leased, occupied, or operated by the City or State
- Vehicles with children under the age of 13 present as per State Law R.S.32:295
- Most other public places (enclosed by two or more walls/barriers)
- Examples: hospitals, nursing homes, public buses, retail stores, and retail service businesses
- State Law – With twenty-five (25) feet of public entrances and wheelchair ramps of office buildings owned by the State, City or any of its agencies and within 200 feet of entrances, exits, and outdoor areas of elementary and secondary schools
- City playgrounds and parks, except in designated areas
- Any service line in a public place during times in which the public is invited and permitted, within five (5) feet of service window if in vehicle
- Workplaces, such as construction sites
- Every person who violates the ordinance shall be liable for a fine of up to $50.00 for each violation.
- A business that violates the ordinance for a first violation shall be liable for a fine of not more than $100.00; or a second violation committed within a period of twelve (12) months the business will be liable for a fine of not more than $200.00; for a third violation, all of which occurred within 12 months, shall be liable for a fine up to $500.00. Any business that violates the ordinance five or more times within a 12-month period shall be subject to a revocation of the occupancy permit for the location in which the violation occurs.