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Smoking Law 2003

Effective March 1, 2003
Important Information for Nassau County
Business Owners and Employers

This notice is being provided to assist you in understanding the new 2003 smoking law. We encourage you to work with your staff and patrons to come into compliance with the new law.

What facilities are affected?

Effective March 1, 2003, the work areas of almost all businesses and places of employment shall be smoke-free. These include, but are not limited to:

  • All food service establishments, restaurants, and catering halls. (Includes outdoor dining areas of restaurants regardless of whether or not a private social function is being held.)
  • All bars or taverns, including bars in restaurants. (Includes outdoor areas.)
  • Membership associations. (Includes those that were previously exempt.)
  • All areas of theaters. (Includes outdoor seating areas.)
  • Financial institutions and health care facilities.
  • School grounds. (Includes buildings, structures, outdoor grounds and vehicles.)
  • Shopping malls and retail stores. (Where goods are sold or rented to the public.)
  • Sports arenas, roller and ice skating rinks, billiard parlors, bowling establishments, and other similar places. (Includes outdoor seating areas.)
  • Public transportation facilities, reception areas, and waiting rooms.
  • Places of employment. (Workforce includes paid employees, independent contractors, volunteers, interns, or other similar positions whether paid or not.)


1. A place of employment that derives at least 90% of its revenue from tobacco retail sales.
2. A private home which may serve as an office workplace.
3. Implementation of the law for bingo halls has been delayed to January 1, 2004.

To comply with the new law:

  • Post "no smoking" signs at all entrances as required. (Signs are available. Please contact NCDH)
  • Discuss the changes in the law with employees:
    • Request any person smoking to refrain from smoking in the workplace.
    • Refer to the law (and provisions for penalties) and to customer service policy when dealing with refusals to abstain from smoking in the workplace.
    • Request staff to report all problem cases directly to the management or owner of the business.
  • Remove all ashtrays from the premises as required.
  • Talk with your customers about the changes in the law. If a person refuses to stop smoking, request that the person leave the premises and refuse service to that person.

Contact the Nassau County Department of Health
at the following telephone numbers for additional information:

227-9717 (Restaurants, bars, catering halls and hotels)
227-9617 (Places of employment and other establishments)


The Nassau County Health Department is responsible for the enforcement of this law.

The fines range up to $250 for each violation, with each day or part of a day on which a violation continues constituting a separate violation.

Complaints about non-compliance with the law may be made to the Health Department at the above telephone numbers.

About the Law

Nassau County Local Law No. 15-2002 became law on November 6, 2002. It amends Local Law No. 7-1997 to strengthen smoking prohibition within Nassau County. The new law prohibits smoking in virtually all workplaces in Nassau County, including many places where smoking had previously been permitted. This law ensures, to the greatest extent possible, that no person's work-related duties require exposure to second-hand smoke.