Smoke-Free Washington

The city council has made another change in the smoke-free air act that became law last month.

The city began enforcing the law, which prohibits smoking inside businesses and workplaces, April 15.

During their meeting Monday night, council members tweaked a provision in the ordinance that would allow outdoor smoking shelters consisting of four walls, similar to shelters at bus stops.

Previously, it was a violation of the ordinance to have a smoking shelter with more than a roof and one side.

The council considered revamping that provision after officials at Clemco Industries indicated they want to purchase one or more prefabricated shelters for employees who smoke. The amendment limits smoking shelters to no more than 200 square feet and notes that they must be located more than 10 feet from the main entrance of public places and places of employment “in which there is no service, possession or consumption of food or alcoholic beverages.”

No more than 85 percent of the shelter may be enclosed at one time in order to allow for the free flow of air through required openings.

The new law does not prohibit smoking in private residences unless they are used as a childcare, adult daycare or health care facility. It does allow a hotel or motel to designate 20 percent of rooms for smoking, but only until Jan. 22, 2014, when that clause of the ordinance will be reviewed. The act also exempts hookah lounges until Jan. 22, 2014, when that provision also will be reviewed.

Citizens can read the full ordinance at the city of Washington’s website.