How to Report Smoking Violations
Smoking is illegal in many public buildings and even in some outdoor venues in many states. Although people are aware of this, some folks can’t resist lighting up. If you discover a smoking violation in your school, workplace or favorite restaurant, there are several simple ways to deal with the situation and save your lungs from secondhand smoke. Some states, cities and counties have no smoking restrictions, while others forbid smoking only in certain establishments. Always check local laws before reporting violations.
Contact the department of health in your state, county or city. Most have an online complaint form you can fill out. Include specific information, such as the name, address and phone number of the bar, restaurant or other building where the violation occurred.
Report workplace smoking violations to your supervisor. The human resources department will handle the problem from there. If the problem persists, you might need to report the violation on your own to the state labor department.
Inform the proper authorities if an adult smokes in a car with a child under eighteen. In certain states, including California, this is a violation of the health and safety code. Call the public health office in your state to report this infraction.
Advise a building manager or owner if a smoke-free zone lacks a no-smoking sign. Enclosed workspaces, bars and restaurants in most states, schools, stores and other buildings are smokeless areas, and a no-smoking sign should be posted by management. If the management doesn’t post a sign within a reasonable amount of time, contact the state.
File a report if an ashtray is present in a non-smoking area. Even if you don’t observe someone smoking, if you see a full or partially filled ashtray in a clearly posted non-smoking area, you can report it as a violation.
Contact the health department if smoking occurs close to a playground. Disposal of tobacco products is also prohibited in some states (California, for example) near playgrounds.
Register a complaint about the sale of cigarettes to minors. If a shopkeeper repeatedly and knowingly sells cigarettes to minors, report the shopkeeper to the health department. This includes sales of herbal cigarettes to customers younger than 18.