On May 9, 2011, the City of Florence adopted an ordinance entitled “Smoking in Public Places and Places of Employment”. A proviso of the ordinance made the effective date November 1, 2011. See below for frequently asked questions and policy information:
City of Florence Smoking Ordinance Resources
City of Florence Smoking Ordinance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Why was this ordinance created by the city?
Numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke is a major contributor to indoor air pollution and that breathing secondhand smoke is a cause of disease, including heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and lung cancer in healthy nonsmokers.
- When does the ordinance go into effect?
The City will begin enforcement of its ordinance regulating smoking in enclosed buildings and spaces within the City of Florence on November 1, 2011.
- What types of businesses are impacted by this ordinance?
Most businesses within the City of Florence will be impacted by the ordinance. The smoke-free ordinance applies to all enclosed public places within the City.
- Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?
The ordinance does not apply to designated hotel/motel rooms, private residences, personal vehicles, retail tobacco stores, and private clubs.
- How will the ordinance be enforced?
Enforcement will be predominantly complaint based, unless enforcement officials at an establishment for other reasons witness violations. When the City receives a complaint, the City of Florence Fire Department will investigate.
- What should I do if a patron smokes in my establishment?
The proprietor or other person in charge has primary responsibility for ensuring customers in the establishment comply with the ordinance.
- What constitutes a violation?
Violations under the ordinance occur when:
- A person smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited.
- A person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment fails to comply with the ordinance.
- What is the penalty for a violation?
A person who smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited shall be guilty of an infraction, punishable by a civil fine of not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25). A person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment and fails to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance shall be guilty of an infraction, punishable by a civil fine of not less than ten dollars ($10) nor no more than twenty-five dollars ($25).
- I own my business and I work alone. Can I smoke in my own business?
Yes, as long as your business is not open to the public and does not have any employees or volunteers.
- How are complaints filed?
You can file a complaint by downloading a Smoking Ordinance Enforcement Complaint Form (above) or by contacting the City Manager’s Office at 843-665-3113. The complaint will be referred to the City of Florence Fire Department for investigation and enforcement.
- Can patrons smoke outside establishments (outdoors)?
Smoking is allowed outside an establishment which would allow for smoking on an outside deck or patio as long as the area is not defined as an “enclosed building or space” by the ordinance. For example, areas (decks, patios) that are enclosed for winter use would be considered an “enclosed building or space”, but when open in the summer months would be exempt.
- Do I need to post “No Smoking” signs?
The City of Florence encourages businesses to post “No Smoking” signs or the international “No Smoking” symbol so that individuals are aware of the regulation.
- How is a designated smoking area certified by the City of Florence?
Application forms are available above or by contacting the City Manager’s Office at 843-665-3113. Requirements for designated smoking areas include the following: A dedicated smoking area that is contained within a building provided the smoking area is not open to the public, employees are not required to be present in the smoking area for any work-related activities, the smoking area is separated from the remainder of the building by walls and/or doors, and the smoking area is equipped with adequate ventilation which effectively ventilates smoking area air to the exterior of the building.