Ohio state law prohibits smoking in or near the entrance or exit of public places and places of employment. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, any enclosed area the public is permitted to access and employer-controlled offices, meeting rooms, sales, production, and storage areas, restrooms, stairways, hallways, warehouses, garages, and vehicles.
Ohio law allows localities to adopt and enforce stronger laws or regulations further restricting smoking.
The proprietor of a public place or place of employment must comply with the following requirements:
“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) must be conspicuously posted in every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited, including at each entrance to the public place or place of employment. Signs must be clearly legible to a person of normal vision throughout the areas they are intended to mark. All signs must contain a telephone number for reporting violations.
All ashtrays and other receptacles used for disposing of smoking materials shall be removed from any area where smoking is prohibited.
The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions: private residences, nursing homes, outdoor patios, designated hotel rooms, family-owned and operated businesses, and retail tobacco stores that are the only business in a freestanding structure. To qualify under this exemption, retail tobacco stores and outdoor patios must ensure that smoke from the business does not migrate into an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited.
The exemption for a retail tobacco store to allow smoking indoors is not automatic, and must be registered annually by filing Appendix A: Affidavit in Support of Retail Tobacco Store Exemption with the Ohio Department of Health.
Individuals under the age of 18 cannot use, consume, possess, purchase, attempt to purchase, order, pay for, or share the cost of cigarettes, other tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or papers used to roll cigarettes, unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or spouse who is 18 years of age or older. However, it is not a violation for a child to accept or receive cigarettes, other tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or papers used to roll cigarettes if the child is required to do so in the performance of the child’s duties as an employee of that child’s employer and the child’s acceptance or receipt of cigarettes, other tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or papers used to roll cigarettes occurs exclusively within the scope of the child’s employment.
Similarly, it is illegal to give, sell, or otherwise distribute cigarettes, other tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or papers used to roll cigarettes to any person under the age of 18. Retail establishments that sell tobacco products must post signs indicating that state law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to any person under the age of 18.
It is illegal to manufacture, sell, or distribute in the state any pack of cigarettes containing fewer than 20 cigarettes or any package of roll-your-own tobacco containing less than 0.6 ounces of tobacco. Selling cigarettes in a smaller quantity than that placed in the pack by the manufacturer is also unlawful.