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Get to grips with local smoking laws for your business to avoid a penalty of up to R50 000!

by , 22 January 2013
Smoking laws come under the spotlight in America this week, as there's hope a bill will be passed to ban smoking in cars in Virginia when children under the age of 15 are present. But South African smoking laws are very different and could have huge implications for your business. Do you know your legal health and safety responsibilities as an employer when it comes to smoking on your company premises? Read on!

A bill to ban smoking when children under the age of 15 are in the vehicle will be heard this week at the state's General Assembly, The Virginia Gazette reports.
'Virginia is far behind what other states have,' said Bronson Frick, an assistant director of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, a national advocacy group.
Virginia does ban smoking in restaurants, but the state law doesn't cover other areas. 
Most states that have outlawed smoking in the car with a child present, Frick said, usually take an educational approach, too: They have a campaign to inform the public about the health and safety risks of second-hand smoke.
'It's not just about passing the law but also implementing it,' Frick said.
Another bill will make it against the law to litter with cigarette butts. Currently, cigarette butts are not included on the list of 'illegal litter,' according to WTVR.com.
Smoking law changes in South Africa have had huge health and safety implications for your business – do you have a designated smoking area?
While that may be the case in the United States, we have entirely different local smoking laws. 
Our smoking laws changed in South Africa in September 2010, but many employers still aren't aware of the implications for their business.
For instance, if you don't have a designated smoking area at your business and you allow smoking on your premises, you could face penalties of up to R50 000 from the Department of Labour.
These smoking laws apply even if your business is small and you only have just one or two workers are smokers. 

Find out more about your smoking obligations in the Health and Safety Advisor 

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