Smoking in the Workplace

06.22.2022
HR & Safety

The Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis law, also known as RERACA, includes changes to Connecticut’s law regarding the smoking of tobacco and cannabis in the workplace. 

The new law, effective Oct. 1, 2021, requires all employers to prohibit smoking tobacco and cannabis products inside and outside the building. 

This law includes electronic delivery systems, such as vapes. 

It is important to note that smoke and vape-free workplaces do not mean that workers who smoke are unwelcome or judged.

Employers can provide cessation assistance to help smokers quit. Overall, everyone benefits from a workplace that is free of secondhand smoke. 

Employees and customers cannot smoke or vape inside the building nor the outside area within 25 feet of any doorway, operable window, or air intake vent. 

Smoking rooms are no longer permitted. Employers do not need to create an outdoor smoking area for employees and customers. 

However, if an employer chooses to do so, the outdoor smoking area must be at least 25 feet away. 

Under the act, the individual who is in control of the premises must post signs alerting people that there is no smoking in or around the building. 

No smoking and vaping signage should be in each elevator, room, area, or building where smoking is banned. 

Exemptions

There is a medical carve-out for electronic nicotine and cannabis delivery systems. 

The delivery system must (1) treat a patient in a healthcare setting, (2) be prescribed by a provider for use in any place, or (3) be authorized by federal law. However, employers may still prohibit cannabis product use in the workplace for all employees. 

Additionally, some businesses are exempt: (1) club associations with liquor permits issued before May 1, 2002, (2) businesses that test and develop cannabis or tobacco products, (3) cafes that obtained a liquor permit between Oct. 1, 2003, and Apr. 1, 2004, (4) outdoor spaces at restaurants with a liquor license if at least 75% of outdoor seating capacity prohibits smoking, and (5) tobacco bar businesses that generated at least 10% of their 2002 gross sales from tobacco products or humidor rentals and have not changed or expanded its location since Dec. 31, 2002. 

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