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New Mexico passes smoking ban “Dee Johnson Indoor Air Act”

The New Mexico Legislature has moved to ban smoking in virtually all indoor workplaces in the state, including bars. The legislation, House Bill 283, was sponsored by Representative Al Park in the 2007 session. To be known as the Dee Johnson Indoor Air Act, the bill cleared the House unanimously in the early March. The Senate voted 27-9 to pass the legislation on March 8 and the Governor signed it on March 12, 2007. It will take effect on June 15, 2007.

The bill bans smoking in most indoor workplaces, as well as the entrances and exits to those buildings. The legislation provides some exceptions where smoking could continue, including retail tobacco stores, cigar bars, casinos, bingo parlors, private and fraternal clubs, one-person offices not generally open to the public, hotel rooms where smoking is allowed, sites for American Indian ceremonies and private homes, except when they’re used for commercial child or adult care.

Per Alamogordo Daily News: Currently 13 New Mexico localities have ordinances that prohibit smoking in some combination of restaurants, bars, and workplaces. ….. The Dee Johnson Indoor Air Act, would make New Mexico the 17th state with a strong statewide law.

Summary of NM House Bill 283 DEE JOHNSON CLEAN INDOOR AIR ACT (Park).

Amends §§24-16-1 to 24-16-4 to change the name of the Clean Indoor Act to the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act, in honor of the former first lady;

  • changes the policy statement regarding the dangers of secondhand smoke;
  • prohibits smoking in public places or public transportation.

Enacts new material to identify places where smoking would be permitted: private residence, retail tobacco store, cigar bar, tobacco factory, licensed gaming facility, state-approved smoking cessation program and tobacco research sites, designated outdoor smoking areas, private clubs, privately hired limousines and hotel or motel rooms designated as smoking permitted rooms. No more than 25% of smoking rooms could be so designated.

Enacts new material to prohibit smoking near entrances, windows and ventilation systems of workplaces and public places; smoking areas should be located a sufficient distance from these openings;

  • employers shall adopt, implement, post and maintain a written smoking policy pursuant to the Act;
  • signs must be posted to indicate where smoking is prohibited as well as allowed; no smoking signs would be required at every entrance to theaters, auditoriums and restaurants.

The local fire, police or sheriff’s departments shall enforce the Act by issuing citations;

  • also makes it unlawful for building owners or managers to violate provisions of the Act but would not be subject to a penalty if proper signage is in place;
  • establishes penalties for persons 18 years of age or older as follows: first violation - $100; second violation within 12 months - $200; and third violation - $500.

Prohibits retaliation by employers against an employee for exercising any rights under the Act.

Allows municipal and county smoking ordinances to be stricter as long as they include all minimum standards and provisions of the Act.

Repeals certain sections of the existing Clean Indoor Air Act.
(Summary from NM Municipal League Legislative Bulletin January 26, 2007 Source)

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