IPCPR Legislative | Restrictions in Georgia

Restrictions in Georgia

georgia

Smoking, Age and Sampling Restrictions in Georgia

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

 

Exemptions

 

The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Private residences, except when used as a licensed child care, adult day-care, or health care facility
  • Designated hotel and motel guest rooms
  • Retail tobacco stores, provided that secondhand smoke from such stores does not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited
    • A “retail tobacco store” is a retail store utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental.
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Outdoor areas of places of employment
  • Smoking areas in international airports
  • All workplaces of any manufacturer, importer, or wholesaler of tobacco products, of any tobacco leaf dealer or processor, all tobacco storage facilities, and any other entity that is part of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
  • Private and semiprivate rooms in health care facilities licensed under this title that are occupied by one or more persons, all of whom have written authorization by their treating physician to smoke
  • Bars and restaurants, as follows
    • All bars and restaurants to which access is denied to any person under the age of 18 and that do not employ any individual under the age of 18 or
    • Private rooms in restaurants and bars if such rooms are enclosed and have an air handling system independent from the main air handling system that serves all other areas of the building and all air within the private room is exhausted directly to the outside by an exhaust fan of sufficient size
    • A “bar” is an establishment that is devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption by guests on the premises and in which the serving of food is only incidental to the consumption of those beverages, including taverns, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, and cabarets.
    • A “restaurant” is an eating establishment, including coffee shops, cafeterias, sandwich stands, and private and public school cafeterias, which gives or offers for sale food to the public, guests, or employees, as well as kitchens and catering facilities in which food is prepared on the premises for serving elsewhere. This term includes a bar area within any restaurant.
  • Convention facility meeting rooms and public and private assembly rooms contained within a convention facility not wholly or partially owned, leased, or operated by the State of Georgia, its agencies and authorities, or any political subdivision of the state, municipal corporation, or local board or authority created by general, local, or special Act of the General Assembly while these places are being used for private functions and where individuals under the age of 18 are prohibited from attending or working as an employee during the function
  • Smoking areas designated by an employer which meet the following requirements:
    • The smoking area must be located in a nonwork area where no employee, as part of his or her work responsibilities, will be required to enter, except such work responsibilities will not include custodial or maintenance work carried out in the smoking area when it is unoccupied.
    • Air handling systems from the smoking area must be independent from the main air handling system that serves all other areas of the building and all air within the smoking area must be exhausted directly to the outside by an exhaust fan of sufficient size and capacity for the smoking area and no air from the smoking area can be recirculated through or infiltrate other parts of the building, and
    • The smoking area will be for the use of employees only.
    • This exemption does not apply to restaurants and bars.
  • Common work areas, conference and meeting rooms, and private offices in private places of employment, other than medical facilities, that are open to the general public by appointment only; except that smoking is prohibited in any public reception area of such place of employment
  • Private clubs, military officer clubs, and noncommissioned officer clubs

 

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.

 

Ga. Code § 31-12A-2: Definitions
Ga. Code § 31-12A-6: Exemptions

 

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
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/ProtectingKidsfromTobacco/RegsRestrictingSale/UCM265540.pdf

 

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.

 

Ga. Code § 48-11-1(22)

 

Georgia law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

CONTACT IPCPR LEGISLATIVE
Questions? Comments? Interested in Getting Involved? Contact the IPCPR Legislative Team!
CONTACT US
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.