Georgia law prohibits smoking: in all enclosed facilities of, including buildings owned, leased, or operated by, the State of Georgia, its agencies and authorities, and any political subdivision of the state, municipal corporation, or local board or authority created by general, local, or special Act of the General Assembly or by ordinance or resolution of the governing body of a county or municipal corporation individually or jointly with other political subdivisions or municipalities of the state; in enclosed public places, including banks, bars, educational facilities, health care facilities, laundromats, public transportation facilities, reception areas, restaurants, retail food production and marketing establishments, retail service establishments, retail stores, shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters, and waiting rooms; private residences used as licensed child care, adult day-care, or health care facilities; in all enclosed areas within places of employment, including common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms, and all other enclosed facilities; in establishments, facilities, or outdoor areas that the owner, operator, manager, or other person in control has declared as a nonsmoking place.
Ga. Code § 31-12A-2: Definitions
Ga. Code § 31-12A-3: Smoking prohibited in state and local government buildings
Ga. Code § 31-12A-4: Smoking prohibited in enclosed public places
Ga. Code § 31-12A-5: Smoking prohibited in enclosed areas within places of employment; required communications
Ga. Code § 31-12A-7: Smoking prohibited in designated nonsmoking places
“No Smoking” signs or the international “No Smoking” symbol consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it may be clearly and conspicuously posted by the owner, operator, manager, or other person in control in every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited. All ashtrays must be removed from any area where smoking is prohibited by the owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of the area, unless the ashtray is permanently affixed to an existing structure.
Ga. Code § 31-12A-8: “No Smoking” signs; ashtrays prohibited in nonsmoking areas
State law does not prohibit the enactment of any other general or local laws, rules, and regulations of state or local governing authorities or local ordinances prohibiting smoking which are more restrictive than and not in direct conflict with state law.
Ga. Code § 31-12A-12: Other laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances not prohibited
The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:
In order to qualify for any exemption from the smoking ban, an establishment must conspicuously post at every entrance a sign indicating that smoking is permitted.
Georgia law does not provide a specific application procedure to qualify for an exemption from the smoking ban. Localities may have specific requirements.
Individuals under 18 years of age cannot purchase, attempt to purchase, possess for personal use, or misrepresent their identity or age for the purpose of purchasing or procuring any cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products. This prohibition does not apply to possession of tobacco products by a minor when a parent or guardian of the minor gives the tobacco products to the minor and possession is in the home of the parent or guardian and the parent or guardian is present.
Ga. Code § 16-12-171(b)(1): Prohibited acts
Department of Labor staff reported that Georgia laws and regulations do not contain age restrictions for tobacco store employees and that the minimum age to work in Georgia is 14.
It is illegal for any person knowingly to sell or barter, directly or indirectly, any tobacco products to a minor; purchase any tobacco products for any minor unless the minor is the child of the purchaser; or advise, counsel, or compel any minor to smoke, inhale, chew, or use tobacco products.
Ga. Code § 16-12-171(a)(1): Prohibited acts
Any person owning or operating a place of business in which cigarettes, tobacco products, or tobacco related objects are sold or offered for sale must post in a conspicuous place a sign containing the following statement in letters at least 1/2 inch I height:
“SALE OF CIGARETTES, TOBACCO, TOBACCO PRODUCTS, TOBACCO RELATED OBJECTS, ALTERNATIVE NICOTINE PRODUCTS, OR VAPOR PRODUCTS TO PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE IS PROHIBITED BY LAW.”
Ga. Code § 16-12-172(a): Posting signs in place of business
Georgia law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local youth access laws, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.
Federal regulations prohibit free samples of cigarettes and limit free samples of smokeless tobacco products to certain age-restricted venues under several conditions.
Regulations Restricting the Sale, Distribution, and Marketing of Cigarettes, Cigarette Tobacco, and Smokeless Tobacco: Consumer Fact Sheet
In Georgia, it is illegal for any person to distribute any tobacco product sample to any person under 18 years of age. A person distributing tobacco product samples must require proof of age from a prospective recipient if an ordinary person would conclude on the basis of appearance that the prospective recipient may be under 18 years of age. It is also illegal for any minor under 18 years of age to receive or attempt to receive any tobacco product sample.
Ga. Code § 16-12-174: Distribution of tobacco product samples
No person may distribute tobacco product samples on any public street, sidewalk, or park within 500 feet of any school or playground when those facilities are being used primarily by persons under 18 years of age.
Ga. Code § 16-12-174(e): Distribution of tobacco product samples
Tobacco product samples are subject to the tobacco products tax and licensing requirements, as the term “sale” is defined to include any sale, transfer, exchange, theft, barter, gift, or offer for sale and distribution in any manner or by any means whatever.
Georgia law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.