A N A C T
RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY --
SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 23-20.6-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-20.6 entitled "Smoking in Public Places" is hereby amended to read as follows:
23-20.6-2. Smoking prohibited in certain public areas -- Smoking sections in eating facilities. -- (a) Smoking tobacco in any form is a public nuisance and dangerous to public health and shall not be permitted in any of the following places used by or open to the public: the state house, elevators, indoor movie theaters, libraries, art galleries, museums, concert halls, auditoriums, buses, primary, secondary or post secondary school buildings, colleges and universities (including dormitories), and public hallways in court buildings, hallways of elderly housing complexes, supermarkets, medical offices, public laundries as defined in chapter 16 of title 5 and hospitals and other health care and assisted living facilities.
(b) The proprietor or other person in charge of a public area listed in subsection (a) shall make reasonable efforts to prevent smoking and shall post no smoking and warning signs conspicuously in these areas.
(c) Any person who violates this chapter shall be deemed to be contributing to the maintenance of a public nuisance in a public place and shall be subject to a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00), nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), which shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought by the attorney general in any court of competent jurisdiction. Each day the violation is committed or permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such. Any penalty assessed and recovered in an action brought under this subsection shall be paid over to the general treasurer and added to the general fund.
(d) This section does not prohibit smoking in the areas listed in subsection (a) if the smoking is confined to areas separated from those used by the general public and identified by signs as smoking areas.
(e) (1) Eating facilities with a seating capacity of fifty (50) or more persons shall have separate seating for nonsmokers and smokers. For purposes of this section, and "eating facility" shall mean any building, structure, room or area maintained as, or held out to the public as, an enclosure where meals are served for consideration of payment; excluded, however, are bars, nightclubs, lounges, dance clubs, and privately sponsored social affairs. Appropriate arrangements shall be made to ask patrons their preference for the non-smoking or smoking section prior to being seated.
(2) The proprietor or person in charge of the eating facility shall post signs as follows:
(A) At the entry stating that the establishment is required by law to have a no-smoking section; and
(B) In the smoking sections identifying the area.
(3) The department of health is hereby authorized to adopt rules and regulations necessary for the implementation and enforcement of this subsection.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.