Anti-smoking law in effect at midnight tomorrow

May 30, 2007|By Larry Carson

Under Howard County law, smoking in all county restaurants and bars, and within 15 feet of entry doors, becomes illegal at midnight tomorrow. Main Street in Historic Ellicott City is exempted from the 15-foot rule because of the narrow sidewalks.

County government officials have said they will enforce the law by responding to complaints, not by inspecting bars and restaurants.

Penalties start with a $100 civil citation for each infraction. Owners and managers who allow smoking after the law takes effect are subject to a $250 civil fine per infraction. There are no criminal penalties.

To report a violation, a member of the public may notify the management if they see smoking, or submit a complaint to the county at violationform.htm, or call county police if an establishment refuses to stop people from smoking.

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