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Tobacco-free places and policies

Tobacco-free policies | Ohio’s smoke-free laws | Report a smoking violation | Find local support to help you quit smoking

Tobacco-free policies

Tobacco control laws and other government policies aim to:

  • Prevent people, especially children youth, from starting to use tobacco
  • Help people quit using tobacco products
  • Reduce the harmful effects caused by someone breathing second-hand smoke

Tobacco Free SignLorain County Public Health (LCPH) works with communities, schools, colleges, worksites, and faith-based organizations to pass tobacco or policies. Find out what your community can do and email us with tobacco-free policy questions.

Policies are not "smoker-free" policies. People who use tobacco products may still choose to do so - just not in areas with policies that restrict using cigarettes and other tobacco products. These policies are like policies that restrict open containers of alcohol in most public areas. Tobacco-free policies get customized by location. Download our tobacco-free policy checklist to guide you through creating a tobacco policy in your community.

Lorain County Community College (Elyria, Lorain, North Ridgeville, Wellington) 100% Tobacco-Free Policy including electronic smoking devices (vapes or e-cigarettes)

Effective Date: August 1, 2017
Section: Administrative Services
Subsection: Buildings and Grounds

Policy VI-225: 100% Tobacco-Free Institution (A) Lorain County Community College is designated a 100% tobacco-free institution. Purpose: LCCC is committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle and workplace environment and will support administrators, faculty, staff students in their efforts to reduce or discontinue the use of tobacco products. The College has adopted a 100% policy that supports a healthy environment for all. The primary emphasis of this approach is to focus on the elimination of tobacco and all smoking simulating device use on all College property with cessation left as a choice for the individual. (B) Replaces 3354:3--VIII-8.00, dated July 28, 1988, approved December 15, 1988, revised and approved July 30, 1992; revised and approved June 26, 2014; revised and approved June 23, 2016.

City of Avon Lake, Tobacco-Free Parks

Effective June 11, 2018
Streets, utilities, and public services code
Subsection: Recreation Facilities

(a) Purpose and Definitions

(1) Avon Lake parks are primarily intended for the use and enjoyment of the residents of the City and their friends. Persons not residing in the Municipality are guests and are extended the privileges of the parks, provided they do not abuse the hospitality or rules of the City.

(2) As used in Sections 1070.02 through 1070.07, "parks" means those areas owned or managed by the City that are used for park and/or recreational purposes, including City parks, playgrounds, beaches, fields, wildlife preserves and those public park areas which have been set aside by allotters for recreational and/or park purposes.

(3) As used in Sections 1070.02 through 1070.07, "Recreation Department" means the City's Department of Recreation.

(4) As used in Sections 1070.02 through 1070.07, "Director" means the Director of Recreation.

(5) As used in Sections 1070.02 through 1070.07, "sunrise" means the time of day provided by the Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory as the time for sunrise on that day in the City.

(6) As used in Sections 1070.02 through 1070.07, "sunset" means the time of day provided by the Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory as the time for sunset on that day in the City.

(7) As used in this section, "tobacco" shall have the meaning given to it in Section 667.01 of the Codified Ordinances.

(8) As used in this section, "smoking" shall have the meaning given to it in Section 667.01 of the Codified Ordinances.

(u) Use of Tobacco Prohibited. The smoking or use of tobacco in parks is prohibited.

City of Lorain Tobacco-Free Policy

Effective May 2019

      • WHEREAS, the City believes that tobacco use in ANY FORM (cigarette smoking, alternate nicotine devices such as e-cigarettes, chew, snus, dip, pipe, hookah, etc.) in the proximity of children and adults engaging in or watching outdoor recreational activities at all city-owned or leased properties or facilities is detrimental to their health and can be offensive to those using such facilities.
      • WHEREAS, the City has a unique opportunity to create and sustain an environment that supports a non-tobacco norm through a tobacco-free policy, rule enforcement, and adult-peer role modeling on city-owned or leased properties, parks and/or facilities.
      • WHEREAS, the City believes parents, leaders, and officials involved in recreation and other activities are role models for youth and can have a positive effect on the lifestyle choices they make.
      • WHEREAS, the tobacco industry advertises at and sponsors recreational events to foster a connection between tobacco use and recreation.
      • WHEREAS, tobacco products such as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, vaping products, etc., once consumed in public spaces, are often discarded on the ground requiring additional maintenance expenses, diminish the beauty of the city-owned lands and facilities, and pose a risk to toddlers due to ingestion.
      • WHEREAS, the Lorain City Council determines that the prohibition of tobacco use on the City’s lands and facilities serves to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of our City.
      • THEREFORE, tobacco use of any kind is prohibited on or in all city-owned or leased lands, properties and facilities. No person shall use any form of tobacco at or on any city-owned or leased properties or facilities, including the restrooms, spectator and concession areas, or any open air area. These facilities shall include but are not limited to playgrounds, athletic fields, beaches, parks, governmental buildings, and walking/hiking trails, parking lots, etc.
      1. Appropriate signs shall be posted in specified areas.
      2. The community, especially facility users and staff, will be notified of this new policy and all forms shall be updated to include the new policy stipulations.
      3. The staff shall make periodic observations of facilities and lands to monitor for compliance.
      4. Any person found violating this policy may be subject to immediate ejection from the property or facility for the remainder of the day.

City of North Ridgeville Tobacco-Free Workplace Environment Policy

Effective Date: January 1, 2017
In order that we may properly promote the health, safety wellness of our employees, to eliminate the well-known risks associated to second-hand smoke, as well as to enhance the quality of life of all those whom we serve including residents who may visit our public City facilities and related areas; and in part to implement Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3794 (Smoke-Free Workplace Law), the City of North Ridgeville establishes a tobacco-free workplace environment.


As used in this Policy:

(A) "Employee" means a person who is employed by the City of North Ridgeville, with or without compensation.

(B) "Place of employment" means an enclosed or open area under the direct or indirect control of the City of North Ridgeville that the City’s employees use for work, or any other purpose, including but not limited to, offices, meeting rooms, sales, operations and storage areas, restrooms, stairways, hallways, warehouses, garages, and vehicles. The areas as described above are places of employment without regard to the time of day or the presence of employees.

(C) "Public place" means any city-owned, rented, or leased, enclosed or open area incorporating or part of a City facility, City park area, or any other City premises to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted.

(D) "Visitor" to public City facilities or related areas, means a person who may or may not be a City resident but who for whatever reason is present at such public places as defined above, including but not limited to persons who contract with the city or third parties who otherwise perform services.

(E) "Use of tobacco" means all uses of tobacco, including inhaling, exhaling, burning, vaping or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, vaporizer, other lighted smoking device or papers for burning tobacco, or any other plant; chewing tobacco, snuff, or any other matter or substances that contain tobacco.


Effective as of January 1, 2017, the use of tobacco is prohibited at all times:

      • In all public places and City public facilities as defined above in (C);
      • In all City-owned or leased vehicles; and
      • On all outside property or grounds owned, rented or leased by the City of North Ridgeville, as defined, including in or on private vehicles while parked on such City property.


Employees and visitors will be informed of the tobacco-free workplace environment policy through signs of sufficient size and type for visibility posted in City facilities/places/parks and City vehicles. All employees and visitors to such City places are expected to comply with this policy. Individuals are encouraged and empowered to respectfully inform others about this policy in an ongoing effort to support individuals to be tobacco-free, improve individual health, and encourage a culture of compliance. Further, employees will receive policy distribution and orientation by their supervisors.

"No Tobacco Use" signs and/or the international "No Smoking" symbol (consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it shall be conspicuously posted in every public City facility/places/parks and City place of employment where tobacco use is prohibited by this policy, including at each entrance to the public place, City facility or park. Signs shall be of sufficient size to be clearly legible to a person of normal vision throughout the areas they are intended to mark. All violations shall be reported to City management of the particular City facility involved. follow-up, discipline, and/or further action shall be considered by the City’s Mayor or his designee in the instance of City employees.


(A) The success of this policy depends upon the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of tobacco users and non-tobacco users. Supervisors, employees and visitors share the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing the policy.

(B) Concerns about tobacco use by visitors whether residents or others should be respectfully addressed the moment they appear to occur.

(C) Any violation of this policy by City of North Ridgeville employees will be handled through the standard disciplinary process. This approach involves a series of disciplinary actions that may become progressively more severe if an employee commits repeated violations.

(D) No person shall tamper with, deface, or remove any posted sign that prohibits use of tobacco.

(E) Lack of intent to violate a provision of this policy shall not be a defense to a violation.

(F) No person nor the City as employer shall in any manner retaliate against an individual for exercising any right, including reporting a violation, or performing any obligation under this policy.

(G) The City’s enforcement of this policy is in addition to any other enforcement provisions, penalties or remedies otherwise authorized for such violations under State law.

Cessation of Tobacco Use and Support:

Lorain County Public Health offers "Tools to Quit." You can access their website at loraincountyhealth.com or visit the City’s website at .org for more information. Also, the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line offers free tobacco and coaching service to help you quit using all forms of tobacco. To enroll, call the toll-free Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).

Any questions or concerns relating to this Tobacco-Free Workplace Environment Policy can be directed to the Mayor and/or Safety Service Director at (440) 353-0819.

City of Oberlin, Tobacco Free Ordinance

Effective Date: 2014

(a) Smoking, as defined in Chapter 506, of the Codified Ordinances, and the use of smokeless tobacco products is hereby prohibited in any areas of any Oberlin Park, as defined in Section 927.00, as may be established by the City Manager as non-smoking and tobacco-free zones.

(1) No person found to be smoking or using smokeless tobacco products in such designated non-smoking and tobacco-free zones in a park shall fail to immediately cease said activity when requested to do so by City staff, a Police Officer, or a person charged with the management, operation or care of any City-owned park, including any baseball or softball umpire or soccer official.

(2) Should a person found to be smoking or using smokeless tobacco products in a non-smoking and tobacco free zone in a park not immediately cease said activity when requested to do so, as described in subsection (a)(1) hereof, he or she shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(3) Persons who repeatedly violate this section, may be permanently banned from City Parks.

(4) Lack of intent to violate a provision of this chapter shall not be a defense to a violation. (Ord. 14-22AC CMS. Passed 7-7-14.)

(b) At least one sign informing the public of the ban shall be placed at the entrance of each such non-smoking and tobacco-free zone established by the City Manager. Notice shall also be placed at such location(s) within each park designated for notices and information, and shall be included in appropriate forms, documents and other materials provided to residents and others when reserving park facilities or space. (Ord. 10-25AC CMS. Passed 5-3-10.)

Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority, Smoke-Free Policy

Revised March 28, 2018

On May 29, 2012, HUD issued a noticed that strongly encouraged Public Housing Authorities to implement smoke-free policies in some or all public housing units. No later than 18 months of the effective date of HUD's Final Rule of February 3, 2017, each PHA must implement a "smoke-free" policy banning the use of prohibited tobacco products in all public housing living units, indoor common areas in public housing, and in PHA administrative office buildings. Effective May 1, 2018, the Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) will officially become a smoke-free environment. Smoking will not be allowed in common areas, resident units, offices and within twenty-five (25) feet of all doors and windows. Smoking will only be allowed in designated areas.


The Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority is implementing this policy because we are concerned with secondhand smoke and the it has on the health of our residents and the community. On November 15, 2016, we began the "We Care Healthy Homes Initiative" campaign to have a smoke-free environment. By going smoke-free, we are improving the overall health of the community, reducing tenant complaints, and reducing maintenance cost. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure smoke drifts throughout a building. It can enter through ceiling crawl spaces, light fixtures walls, and seeps under and around doors. Ventilation systems do not protect families from secondhand smoke. Most air filter systems are designed to remove odors, not the toxic particles from tobacco smoke. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists secondhand smoke as a Class A Carcinogen, the most toxic class of chemicals that are known to cause cancer in humans. Secondhand smoke is the leading trigger of asthma attacks and other respiratory problems and a known cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Existing Laws Allows For Smoke-Free Housing

Even though smokers feel that it is their right to smoke in their units, there is no Federal or State law that prohibits a property owner from implementing a smoke-free policy for their buildings or grounds and there is no legal right to smoke in federally subsidized housing. Smoke-free policies do not infringe on the legal rights of individuals because smokers are not a protected class under any state or federal law. Smokers may feel that it is their constitutional "right to smoke," which is untrue since the U.S. Constitution does not extend special protection to smokers, because there is no fundamental right to smoke. Fair housing laws do not apply to smokers, but they may be applicable when secondhand smoke infiltrates non-smoking housing units.

Definition of Smoking

Inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other lighted smoking devices for burning tobacco or any other plant.

Notice to Residents

The first letter was sent to residents in December 2016 to inform them of the policy change. A second letter will be sent in January 2017 reminding them that the policy will begin May 1, 2018. It will also inform residents that all lease holders must sign a lease addendum.

Potential Residents

We Care Healthy Homes Initiative information should be provided to all applicants.


LMHA shall post non-smoking signs at entrances and exits, in common areas, and in conspicuous places adjoining the grounds of the Non-Smoking Area. Signs are prominently placed to let residents and guests know there is no smoking in the buildings. "This is a smokefree building" signs are placed by the door outside the building. "No smoking" signs are in the lobby, community room, office any other common area.

Designated Smoking areas

If, in LMHA's sole discretion, the property size and configuration allow, LMHA may designate and clearly identify a specific outdoor area where smoking is permitted. If a designated area has not been identified at the property, then smoking shall be permitted at least 25 feet away from any window or door of the LMHA structure. If a designated smoking area is established, smoking on the premises must be confined to and occur only within that designated smoking area.


The policy will be May 1, 2018. Smoking in an apartment is treated like any other lease violation. If the violation persists, a termination notice can be issued.

When staff witnesses a violation or a resident complaint is received, LMHA staff will enforce the Smoke-Free policy according to the following procedures:

First Offense: Staff will send the resident a reminder of the Smoke-Free Policy to include a copy of the Smoke-Free Lease Addendum signed by the resident household, linkage to cessation services and their resident services representative. A referral should also be completed to refer the resident to their resident services representative for assistance in complying with the SmokeFree Policy.

Second Offense: Staff will visit the household to investigate a suspected violation of this Policy. Evidence will be gathered by looking for signs of smoking, including stains on the walls, ash trays inside the unit and burn marks. Staff will document where tobacco and other plant smoke odors are present inside the building and take pictures where appropriate. All unit inspections due to witnessed or reported smoking violations will be documented in writing even if evidence is not collected or found.

A violation of the Policy may be evidenced by any of the following:

      1. Staff witnesses a resident, resident's guest, or family member, service provider, or other person smoking within the unit or within 25 feet of the building. "Other person" is defined as "an invitee or guest of the tenant, the tenant's family or otherwise on the premises with the knowledge of the tenant or member of tenant's family."
      2. Staff witnesses a lighted smoking product in an ashtray or other receptacle in the unit or within 25 feet of the building.
      3. Damages to the interior of LMHA units that are the result of burns caused by smoking products including burns to property.
      4. Evidence of smoking in a unit such as or other smoking products smells, filters, film including damage to walls.
      5. Repeated reports to of violations of LMHA's Smoke-Free policy by third parties.
      6. Clogged plumbing caused by a smoking product or products.
      7. Any other evidence of smoking in a LMHA unit.

Staff will send the resident a written letter of the findings of their inspection and second reminder of the Smoke-Free policy including a copy of the Smoke-Free Lease Addendum signed by the resident household, linkage to cessation services and their resident services representative. will be advised that further lease violations will result in further action, up to and including Termination of the Lease.

Third Offense: Staff will send the resident a letter to attend a mandatory conference to discuss the policy and repeated violations. When feasible both the property manager and resident services representative will be present for the conference to assist the resident in developing strategies to help them comply with the policy in order to safeguard their housing. During this conference, the resident will be required to sign a last chance agreement. If the resident fails to attend the conference or sign the last chance agreement, the resident's file will be documented accordingly.

Fourth Offense: Staff will issue a 30 day notice of lease termination. The resident is still afforded their right to request a hearing according to the grievance procedure.

Resident Service Engagement

Resident Service Coordinators will provide residents with training to assist residents to stop smoking. We understand how difficult it is to quit smoking so they will work with the Lorain County General Health District to offer smoking cessation programs. They will coordinate special meetings where residents will receive information on the risk of secondhand smoke.

Landlord Not a Guarantor of Smoke-Free Environment

LMHA's adoption of a smoke-free living environment, and the efforts to designate the rental complex as do not make LMHA or any of its managing agents the guarantor of Tenant's health or of the smoke-free condition of the Tenant's unit and the common areas. However, LMHA shall take reasonable steps to enforce the smoke-free terms of its leases and to make the complex smoke-free. is not required to take steps in response to smoking unless Landlord knows of said smoking or has been given written notice of said smoking.

Disclaimer. LMHA's adoption of a smoke-free living environment, and the efforts to designate the rental complex as smoke-free, does not in any way change the standard of care that the Landlord or managing agent would have to a Tenant household to render buildings and premises designated as smoke-free any safer, more habitable, or improved in terms of air quality standards than any other rental premises. Landlord specifically disclaims any implied or express warranties that the building, common areas, or Tenant's premises will have any higher or improved air quality standards than any other rental property. cannot and does not warranty or promise that the rental premises or common areas will be free from secondhand smoke. Tenant acknowledges that LMHA's ability to police, monitor, or enforce this policy is dependent in significant part on voluntary compliance by Tenant and Tenant's guests. Tenants with respiratory ailments, allergies, or any other physical or mental condition relating to smoke are put on notice that Landlord does not assume any higher duty of care to enforce this policy than any other landlord obligation under the Lease.

Overall Impact of the Smoke-Free Policy

The Smoke-Free policy will improve the condition of individual units and it will eventually reduce the turnover cost related to damages. It will provide site staff with equal access to a smoke-free work environment and most importantly it will create healthier communities.

Oberlin College, Tobacco Free Policy

Effective July 1, 2016

The use of all tobacco products by students, staff, faculty, and visitors is prohibited

      • in all buildings, facilities, properties, and vehicles owned or operated by Oberlin College;
      • on all campus grounds, including at outdoor athletic events and programs held on college property;
      • in all campus facilities or on campus grounds being used for private events.

Tobacco products are permitted for use in Tappan Square, except during public events.

Portable electronic vaporizers are not permitted for indoor use but are permitted for outdoor use at least 30 feet from campus buildings. Portable vaporizers may not to used during outdoor, public events like Commencement.

The use of tobacco products in Tappan Square and the outdoor use of portable electronic vaporizers will be reevaluated in 2018.

Village of Wellington, Tobacco Free Policy


ORDINANCE NO. 2016 - 11





Section 1. That effective from and after January 1, 2017, Section 107.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Wellington shall be, and hereby it is, amended to read as follows:


(a) Smoking is hereby banned in all buildings and vehicles owned or operated by the municipality. The smoking or use of tobacco, whether as a cigarette, pipe, cigar, or any other form of , and including the use of chewing tobacco and snuff, is hereby prohibited:

      1. in all buildings and vehicles owned and operated by the Village of Wellington,
      2. within or upon any outdoor areas owned by the Village, whether or not open to public access, including but not limited to parks, recreational areas, parking lots, and the grounds of public buildings, but excluding sidewalks within the public right of way.

(b) The use of any electronic product or device that produces a vapor delivers nicotine to the person inhaling from the device to simulate smoking is hereby prohibited:

      1. in all buildings and vehicles owned and operated by the Village of Wellington,
      2. within or upon any outdoor areas owned by the Village, whether or not open to public access, including but not limited to parks, recreational areas, parking lots, and the grounds of public buildings, but excluding sidewalks within the public right of way.

(c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

Section 2. The Council finds and determines that all formal actions relating to the adoption of this Ordinance have been taken at open meetings of this Council; that the deliberations of this Council and its Committees, resulting in such formal action, took place in meetings open to the public in compliance with all statutory requirements, including the requirements of section 121.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Section 3. That this Ordinance shall take effect at the earliest period allowed by law.

Ohio’s smoke-free laws

Ohio voters passed Issue 5 on November 7, 2006, creating Ohio's indoor smoking ban under a new chapter of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) effective December 7, 2006. This law requires "public places" and "places of employment" to prohibit smoking as of that date. These businesses and organizations must also post "No Smoking" signs that contain the telephone number 1-866-559-OHIO (6446) for reporting violations.  Effective September 30, 2021 the ORC includes electronic smoking devices and vapor products.

Local health districts throughout Ohio and the Ohio Department of Health are responsible for enforcing the Smoke Free Workplace Law. The enforcement process began on May 3, and is performed on a complaint basis. View the final draft of OAC 3701-52 [http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/3701-52].

Report a smoking violation

LCPH manages the enforcement and education of the smoking law in Lorain County. While most establishments in Lorain County follow the law, we still receive some reports of illegal smoking.

To report a smoking violation, call the Ohio Department of Health at 1-866-559-OHIO. Your name is not needed when filing a smoking a complaint.

More on tobacco from your local health department: