SMOKING BAN HOTLINE: 803-545-4000
DIVISION 5. REGULATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO SMOKING OF
Sec. 8-215. Findings and intent.
(a) Findings. As an incident to the adoption of the ordinance from which this division derives, the city council ("city council") of the City of Columbia, South Carolina (the "city") makes the following findings:
(1) Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing 53,000 Americans prematurely each year; and
(2) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Toxicology Program's Report on Carcinogens, National Cancer Institute, and the International Agency for Research and Cancer have all reported that secondhand smoke is a Group A human carcinogen, a cancer causing substance, of which there is no safe level of exposure; and
(3) The health consequences of involuntary smoking have been reported by the U.S. Surgeon General to be a cause of disease, including lung cancer, in healthy non-smokers; and
(4) The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that a simple separation of smokers and non-smokers within the same airspace does not eliminate the exposure of non-smokers; and
(5) Numerous medical and scientific studies show substantial levels of exposure to secondhand smoke among the United States population, and over the past two decades, the health hazards resulting from exposure to secondhand smoke have been increasingly recognized; and
(6) Secondhand smoke increases the risk of developing breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women; and when inhaled by pregnant women, secondhand smoke increases the risk for low-weight babies, pre-term delivery, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS);
(7) Exposure to secondhand smoke by children leads to decreased lung function, asthma, pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis and even sudden infant death syndrome; and
(8) Studies of hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction in Helena, Montana and Pueblo, Colorado before, during, and after a local law eliminating smoking in workplaces and public places was in effect, has determined that laws to enforce smoke-free workplaces and public places may be associated with a reduction in morbidity from heart disease; and
(9) Workplaces have been shown to be locations of significant exposure to secondhand smoke by employees working in the City of Columbia; and
(10) There are laws, ordinances and regulations in place that protect workers from other environmental hazards, including Class A carcinogens, asbestos, arsenic and benzene, but none which regulate exposure to secondhand smoke; and
(11) The South Carolina General Assembly at Section 44-95-10 et seq. (the "Clean Indoor Air Act of 1990") imposed certain limitations on smoking. For example, it limited smoking in government buildings (the definition of which includes city-owned buildings) except where the owner of such building shall designate smoking areas.
City Council has now determined that additional regulation of smoking in areas beyond those addressed in the Clean Indoor Air Act of 1990 is appropriate in furtherance of its duty to
protect the health of its citizens and employees in the workplace and therefore enacts this division.
(b) Intent. City council finds that it is in the best interest of the people of this city to protect nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace. Therefore, city
council declares that the purpose of this act is to preserve and improve the health, comfort and
environment of this city by limiting exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace; and (2)
to guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air, and to recognize that the need
to breathe smoke-free air shall have priority over the desire to smoke.
Sec. 8-216. Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Employee means any person who performs services for an employer in return for wages, profit or other valuable consideration, and a person who volunteers his or her services for a non-profit entity.
Employer means any person, partnership, association, corporation, trust, school, college, university or other educational institution, nonprofit entity or other organization, including any public or private employer, any manager, supervisor, and all other persons charged with control, supervision, and operation of any workplace, work space, or work spaces as defined herein, that employs one (1) or more persons.
Enclosed means a space bounded by walls (with or without windows), a ceiling or roof, and enclosed by doors, including but not limited to, offices, rooms, foyers, waiting areas and halls.
Medical facility means an office or institution providing care or treatment of diseases, whether physical, mental, or emotional, or other medical, physiological, or psychological conditions, including but not limited to, hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals or other clinics, including weight control clinics, nursing homes, homes for the aging or chronically ill, laboratories, and offices of surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, physicians, dentists, and all specialists within these professions. This definition shall include all waiting rooms, hallways, private rooms, semiprivate rooms, and wards within medical facilities.
Medical research facility means an enclosed indoor workplace where tobacco smoking is an
integral part of a smoking cessation program approved by a university, college or hospital.
Private club means an organization, whether incorporated or not, which is the owner, lessee,
or occupant of a building or portion thereof used exclusively for club purposes at all times, which is operated solely for a recreational, fraternal, social, patriotic, political, benevolent, or
athletic purpose, but not for pecuniary gain, and which only sells alcoholic beverages incidental to its operation. The affairs and management of the organization are conducted by a board of directors, executive committee, or similar body chosen by the members at an annual meeting.
The organization has established bylaws and/or a constitution to govern its activities. The organization has been granted an exemption from the payment of federal income tax as a club under 26 U.S.C. Section 501. Establishments which are in fact operating as bars, restaurants or entertainment venues primary for the pecuniary benefit of the owner or chief operating officer shall not be treated as private clubs under this division. A private club is not a private club for the purposes of this division when being used for a function to which the general public is allowed to enter.
Retail tobacco store means any establishment which is not required to possess a retail food permit whose primary purpose is to sell or offer for sale to consumers, but not for resale, tobacco products and paraphernalia, in which the sale of other products is merely incidental,
and in which the entry of persons under the age of 18 is prohibited at all times.
Secondhand smoke is the complex mixture formed from the escaping smoke of a burning tobacco product (termed as "side stream smoke") and smoke exhaled by the smoker. Exposure
to secondhand smoke is also frequently referred to as "passive smoking," "secondhand smoking" or "involuntary smoking".
Smoking means the inhaling, exhaling, burning, lighting or carrying of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, or similar device or any other lighted tobacco product.
Smoking materials includes cigars, cigarettes and all other manner of smoking devices intended to be used for the purpose of inhaling, burning, carrying or exhaling lighted tobacco products.
Workplace means any enclosed indoor area, structure, building or facility or any portion thereof at which one (1) or more employee(s) perform services for their employer, including but not limited to: retail food stores; retail stores; restaurants; bars; cabarets, cafes; public or private clubs; pool halls and bowling alleys.
Work space or work spaces means any enclosed area occupied by an employee during the course of his or her employment, including but not limited to: offices, customer service areas;
common areas; hallways; waiting areas; restrooms; lounges and eating areas.
Sec. 8-217. Prohibition of smoking in the workplace.
(a) All employers shall provide a smoke free environment for all employees working in any work space or workplace as those terms are defined herein. Further, the employer shall prohibit any persons present in any work space and workplace from smoking tobacco products therein.
(b) No person shall smoke or possess a lighted tobacco product in any work space and workplace.
Sec. 8-218. Exceptions.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 8-217 herein, smoking may be permitted in the
following places or under the following circumstances:
(1) Private residences;
(2) Private clubs;
(3) Hotel and motel rooms that are rented to guests and are designated as smoking rooms; provided, however, that not more than 25 percent of rooms rented to guests in a hotel or motel may be so designated. All smoking rooms on the same floor must be contiguous and smoke from these rooms must not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited under the provisions of this division. The status of rooms as smoking or nonsmoking may not be changed, except to add additional nonsmoking rooms;
(4) Retail tobacco stores as defined herein;
(5) Religious ceremonies where smoking is part of the ritual;
(6) Medical research facilities;
(7) Smoking by performers during a theatrical event which requires smoking in the context of the performance;
Sec. 8-219. Reasonable distance of entry.
Smoking outside a Workplace, and any other indoor area where smoking is prohibited shall be permitted, provided that tobacco smoke does not enter any work spaces and workplaces through entrances, windows, ventilation systems or other means.
Sec. 8-220. Jurisdiction, enforcement and penalties.
(a) An infraction of this division is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
(b) A manager, supervisor or any other person who owns, operates, or otherwise controls a workplace or work space and who fails to comply with the provisions of this division shall be guilty of an infraction.
(c) A person smoking or possessing a lighted tobacco product in any workspace or workplace shall be guilty of an infraction.
(d) Each infraction shall be punishable by a civil penalty of $25.00. The city shall serve a uniform ordinance summons upon the infractor.
(1) The city, in addition to or in lieu of assessing or collecting a civil penalty, may institute a civil action in the circuit court in the county in which the infraction occurred seeking (i) a mandatory injunction requiring compliance with this division, (ii) a declaration that the infraction is a public nuisance and an order requiring abatement of the public nuisance, or (iii) for any other remedy permitted by law.
(2) If three or more infractions occur within a six-month period at a workspace or workplace subject to this division, such shall be deemed to be a nuisance related to the business.
The filing of an appeal shall not act as a stay of the city's right to institute any civil action as described above.
(1) Administrative appeal.
(f) Each infraction and on each day which an infraction of this division occurs, shall be considered a separate and distinct infraction.
Sec. 8-221. Severability; conflicts with other regulations; cooperation with other governmental agencies.
(a) Severability. If any provision, clause, sentence or paragraph of this division or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect the other provisions of this division which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this division are declared to be severable.
(b) Conflict with other laws, ordinances or regulations. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to amend or repeal any applicable fire, health or other, law, ordinance or regulation so as to permit smoking in areas where it is prohibited by such applicable fire, health, or other law, ordinance or regulation.
(c) Governmental agency cooperation. The city manager shall annually request other governmental and educational agencies having facilities within the city to establish local operating procedures in cooperation and compliance with this division. This includes urging all federal, state, county, city, and school district agencies to update their existing smoking control regulations to be consistent with the current health findings regarding secondhand smoke.
(2006-081; 2008-034; 2008-081 and 2009-41)