06/28/12 Effective July 1, all Hoosiers will be able to breathe easier. The Indiana Smoke Free Air Law will prohibit smoking in all businesses, except for private clubs, bars, casinos and retail tobacco shops. Indiana will join 39 other states in protecting workers from secondhand smoke in the workplace.

Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including at least 69 carcinogens.  The U.S. Surgeon General found that secondhand smoke is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and asthma, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome.  The Surgeon General’s report concluded that secondhand smoke is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States each year and there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

The Tobacco and Cessation Commission at the Indiana State Department of Health has developed free “Breathe Easy Indiana” toolkits to help businesses with the implementation of the new law.

“Transitioning to a smoke-free business requires planning and education,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D.  “The toolkits are a great resource to help businesses be ready.”

Items in the toolkit include:

  • Employee training guide
  • Business checklist
  • Smoke free window clings
  • Coasters, posters and table tents
  • Quick reference brochure

Businesses covered by the policy must post signs stating “smoking is prohibited within eight feet of this entrance” or use similar language. Signs must be visible at each public entrance.

Often smoke-free air policies in the workplace will encourage employees who smoke to consider quitting. If you or someone you know needs help quitting smoking, call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Quitline services are free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To order a free toolkit or to learn  more about the Indiana Smoke Free Air Law, visit www.breatheindiana.com.