When does the smoking ban go into effect?

Q: What does the six-month extension mean for the smoking ban? Is that when it starts? Can I smoke in restaurants until then?
A: The six-month extension applies to public places that had a designated
smoking area prior to the smoking ban and are considering making the area meet the city ordinance’s requirements. Businesses that will not have a special smoking zone are expected to comply with the ordinance now.

In September, the Dodge City Commission passed an ordinance banning smoking in businesses open to the public. Smoking is also prohibited outside any public place within 10 feet of the main entrance or exit.

The city is already enforcing the part of the ordinance that requires businesses to post “No smoking” signs. Businesses considering having a smoking section have until April 1 to either become a non-smoking establishment or make a smoking zone in accordance with the ban.
Business owners who decide to have a smoking area must post signs letting customers know that smoking is allowed in that area only. The area must also have either solid walls or floor-to-ceiling windows, with a door to minimize the smoke in the rest of the building.

The area needs to have more air removed from the area than is supplied by heating, ventilation and air cooling systems. An additional ventilation system to remove air from the room directly outside is also required.

Smoking will not be allowed in that area until the business passes a city inspection and the area is registered as a smoking zone.

The commission gave business owners this extension to determine the costs of creating the smoking area, decide if they are going to have one and have plans to show city officials.
Business owners cannot, however, wait until April 1 to request an extension. They must began cost estimates and planning well before the deadline.

The decision to allow smoking in a designated area lies solely with the business owners. Some businesses in the city have already made their business a totally non-smoking environment, displaying “No Smoking Allowed” signs.

The six-month time period does not give customers the right to smoke in a business until April 1, unless there is proper signage. Once businesses have decided how they will comply with the city ordinance, patrons will have to either smoke in the designated smoking room or not at all.

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