La Paz County Health Department
The Smoke-Free Arizona Act was voted in by the citizens of Arizona in November 2006 and went into effect on May 1, 2007. This state-wide law prohibits smoking in all enclosed public areas and places (permanent or temporary) of employment, including restaurants and bars, and prohibits smoking within 20 feet of any business entrance. The act was proposed not to control smokers, but to protect non-smokers in public places. Second-hand smoke contains thousands of chemicals, many of them toxic and carcinogenic. Exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to lung and other cancers, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, respiratory infections and, in the case of unborn babies and infants, low birth weight and SIDS.
The La Paz County Public Health Education & Prevention Program (LPC PHEPP) has been working with business owners to ensure proper compliance through education. It is the responsibility of each business owner to implement the requirements of the Smoke-Free Arizona Act by ensuring that appropriate “No Smoking” signs (featuring Arizona Department of Health Services contact info for reporting violations) are prominently posted at the entrance of each establishment and that ashtrays are removed from non-smoking areas, including within 20 feet of the business entrances. Failure to comply may result in a fine between $100 and $500 per violation, per day. Business owners must educate employees of the requirements of this law to ensure compliance.
The LPC PHEPP office performs routine inspections throughout the county. Businesses that are found to be in violation of the act will be given a warning notice and/or a fine may be assessed.
For information on the Smoke-Free Arizona Act or to request signage, please contact Mike Sinclair, your local Smoke-Free Arizona Coordinator at (928) 669-1062 or visit smokefreearizona.org.