E-Cigarettes Included in Workplace Smoking Prohibitions

Several recent pieces of legislation, generally effective on June 9, 2016, expand coverage of California’s workplace smoking prohibitions.

Electronic Cigarettes NoVaping.gif

  • A new law recasts and broadens the definition of “tobacco product” under state law to include electronic cigarettes. By broadening the definition of “tobacco products,” the new measure extends existing laws that relate to tobacco products (e.g., workplace smoking laws) to electronic cigarettes.
    • Note: The law also states that certain retailers of tobacco products (including electronic cigarettes), which are not subject to a tobacco tax, must apply for a license and pay an annual license fee of $265, beginning January 1, 2017. Additional details and obligations are described in the law.

Workplace Smoking Prohibitions Expanded

  • An additional measure amends the state’s workplace smoking law to cover additional places. Key changes include the following:
    • Owner-Operated Businesses. The law extends the workplace smoking prohibition to include owner-operated businesses in which the owner-operator is the only worker and there are no employees, independent contractors, or volunteers.
    • Covered Parking Lots. The law expands the definition of “enclosed space” where smoking is prohibited to include covered parking lots.
    • Guestroom Accommodations. The law reduces to 20% (from 65%) the amount of guestroom accommodations in a hotel, motel, or similar transient lodging establishment in which smoking is allowed.
    • Additional Smoke-Free Locations. The measure eliminates several exemptions in the law which (until June 9, 2016) allow the smoking of tobacco products in certain work environments. As such, the smoking of tobacco products is prohibited at the following locations:
      • Hotel or motel lobbies;
      • Meeting and banquet rooms in a hotel or motel;
      • Warehouse facilities;
      • Gaming clubs;
      • Bars and taverns;
      • Employee break rooms; and
      • Businesses with a total of 5 or fewer employees.

Employers may review the text of the new laws regarding electronic cigarettes and workplace smoking for additional details.


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