Nebraska law prohibits smoking in: places of employment, including work areas, employee break rooms, restrooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, employee cafeterias, hallways, and private residences used as child care programs, during hours of operation; and public places, meaning indoor areas to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted, whether or not the public is always invited or permitted.
Nebraska law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local smoking laws, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.
The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:
Designated guest rooms in a lodging establishment
Indoor areas used in connection with a research study on the health effects of smoking, conducted in a scientific or analytical laboratory
**Tobacco retail outlets, meaning stores that sell only tobacco and products directly related to tobacco. Products directly related to tobacco do not include alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, candy, groceries, or gasoline
**Cigar bars, meaning establishments operated by a holder of a Class C liquor license which: (1) do not sell food; (2) annually receive 10% or more of their gross revenue from the sale of cigars and other tobacco products and tobacco-related products; (3) have walk-in humidors on the premises; and (4) do not permit the smoking of cigarettes.
The Nebraska Supreme Court recently ruled that the exemptions for tobacco retail outlets and cigar bars constitute unconstitutional special legislation and are therefore invalid. The Nebraska Legislature passed a bill that clarifies its intent in allowing this exemption, and differentiates cigar and pipe tobacco use from general cigarette use.
Individuals under 18 years of age cannot smoke cigarettes or cigars, use vapor products or alternative nicotine products, or use tobacco in any form whatever. It is also illegal for any person under 18 years of age to obtain cigars, tobacco, cigarettes, cigarette material, vapor products, or alternative nicotine products by representing that he or she is 18 years old or older. Nebraska law contains no specific exception for minor employees of retail tobacco stores.
In Nebraska, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, or their representatives cannot distribute smokeless tobacco products for promotional purposes. “Smokeless tobacco” is defined as (1) loose tobacco or a flat compressed cake of tobacco that may be chewed or held in the mouth; or (2) a small amount of shredded, powdered, or pulverized tobacco that may be inhaled through the nostrils, chewed, or held in the mouth.