The statewide smoking ban which took effect yesterday doesn’t just affect the inside of businesses — it affects the outside too. Last week, walking down a commercial street in Indianapolis, often meant getting a lungful of smoke from people banished outside by existing smoking bans.
The new law not only requires smoke-free workplaces, but bans smoking within eight feet of the door. Businesses must remove any ashtrays set up near the entrance.
Indiana Campaign for Smoke-Free Air spokeswoman Danielle Patterson expects people will respect the change and not light up. She says previously, businesses may still have wound up with smoke inside them, even if people weren’t lighting up in the building.
“Some ventilation systems, if they have the open air vents, that‘s drawing the smoky air into the establishment,” she says. “You have a number of establishments that open up their windows, or may have patio doors.”
The Indiana Chamber is selling signs for $15 that meet state requirements for a posted notice of the new restrictions. Chamber members get a discount. The ban and buffer zone don‘t apply to bars, casinos and off-track betting parlors, or private clubs, although some cities, including Indianapolis, have passed stronger local bans.