Tuesday October 25, 2005
Louisville's smoke-free law takes effect Nov. 15, requiring more than 20,000 businesses, retail outlets, offices, factories and other public buildings to implement a no-smoking policy.
To help business owners and others comply with the law, Louisville Metro Government has created an online “toolkit,” available on louisvilleky.gov, Louisville Metro's official website.
The toolkit includes reference guides explaining how the law will be enforced, answers to frequently-asked questions about the law, no-smoking signs and table tents that can be downloaded and printed for use in businesses, text of the ordinance, sample smoke-free workplace policies, exemption forms, and information on how businesses can set up on-site stop-smoking classes.
“We are providing a ready resource to help business owners and citizens understand the new law, to know what to expect and how to comply,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson.
The Health Department will enforce the smoke-free law in response to citizen complaints. The agency has committed 28 staff members to smoke-free enforcement, who have the capacity to issue citations - ranging from $50 to $500 - to business owners, operators and even smokers.
“We will respond to each complaint on a case-by-case basis, understanding that there will be somewhat of a learning curve as businesses learn about the new law and communicate that change to their customers,” said Dr. Adewale Troutman, Health Department Director.
The Health Department has begun outreach to area businesses, informing them of the materials available online. Last week, emails went to thousands of businesses. Earlier this month, letters went to all businesses holding alcoholic-drink licenses requesting they complete a form if they are seeking an exemption.
Troutman said that a number of businesses replying to the letter have responded that they will be smoke-free, regardless of eligibility for exemption. “I commend the businesses that are choosing to protect the public’s health, despite being possibly eligible for an exemption,” Troutman said.
Citizens will know a business is smoke-free by looking for the appropriate signage. The ordinance requires businesses to post signs near the entrance that clearly depict “No Smoking” in words or symbols. Beginning Nov. 15, those wishing to report a violation should call MetroCall at 311 or submit a complaint or comment online by visiting the MetroCall section of LouisvilleKy.gov.
Upcoming Stop-Smoking Programs:
· Wednesday, Nov. 16, 6-7 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church,
4938 Brownsboro Road
Meet in library
· Thursday, Nov. 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
CARITAS Medical Center,
1850 Bluegrass Avenue
Meet in patio room off cafeteria
To register, to find out more, or to begin a stop-smoking program in your workplace, call 574-STOP (7867), or email email@example.com.