Update to Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Law | Rea HR Consulting

Update to Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Law 

Protecting Employees and Improving Business Productivity

Ohio’s recent update to the Smoke-Free Workplace Law specifically addresses the inclusion of e-cigarettes. Ohio’s recent update has significant implications for businesses and their employees, aiming to provide a healthier and more productive work environment. Let’s delve into the details. 

Background of the Smoke-Free Workplace Law

Ohio’s initial smoke-free workplace law was enacted in 2007, aiming to safeguard individuals from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke in indoor public places. However, the legislation did not account for the emergence of e-cigarettes, which have gained popularity and diverse flavors in recent years. 

Inclusion of E-Cigarettes 

In October 2021, the Ohio legislature passed an amendment to the smoke-free workplace law, bringing e-cigarettes within its purview. Consequently, the use of e-cigarettes is now prohibited inside all indoor public spaces, including businesses, restaurants, bars, theaters, and more. E-cigarette users must adhere to the same restrictions as traditional cigarette users, taking their devices outside to indulge in vaping. 

Business Impact 

The inclusion of e-cigarettes in the smoke-free workplace law is not only a positive step toward protecting employee health but also carries significant benefits for businesses. In Ohio alone, smoking-related productivity losses cost businesses an estimated $14.4 billion annually. These losses encompass additional sick days taken by employees due to smoking-related illnesses, frequent smoke breaks during work hours, and increased health and life insurance premiums that businesses must bear for these employees. 

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Campaign 

To ensure widespread awareness and compliance with the updated smoke-free workplace law, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has launched a comprehensive media campaign. This campaign aims to educate business owners and Ohioans at large. Here’s what the ODH campaign entails: 

Smoke-Free Workplace Signage: The ODH will be mailing new smoke-free workplace signage, along with information about the law update and the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line, to over 280,000 registered businesses in Ohio. 

Utilizing various channels, including social media, TV ads, and radio ads, the ODH will actively promote the updated smoke-free workplace law to maximize awareness and understanding. 

Additional Resources and Reporting Violations 

For further information on Ohio’s smoke-free workplace law, visit the ODH website’s Smoke-Free Workplace Program page. Should you come across any violations of the law, please report them to the ODH through the following channels: 

Phone: Call 1-866-559-OHIO (1-866-559-6446) 

Email: Send an email to NoSmoke@odh.ohio.gov 

Online Complaint Report: File a complaint online

Assistance and Support for Quitting Tobacco 

All Ohioans, including your employees, have access to free quit support through the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line. By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), individuals can connect with experienced cessation counselors. Eligible callers can receive up to eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy, delivered to their homes, after completing each call, for a maximum of four calls. Learn more about Ohio’s smoking cessation resources

If your business needs assistance in improving its HR services. Please contact Rea’s Human Resources Consulting. 

By Renee West, SHRM-SCP, PHR (New Philadelphia, OH)