The Smoke-Free Air Law will soon celebrate its one-year anniversary since it was enacted, ensuring clean air to Hoosiers who visit just about any business in the state. When it was first proposed, however, many citizens and business owners expressed displeasure at the idea, fearing it would adversely affect business and cause unnecessary complication and interference.
Since then, however, the buzz seems to have settled, and Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch said enforcement hasn’t been much of an issue. No citations have been issued, Lynch explained, but they have issued warnings to some people who were not in compliance with the law. Other than that, he said signage has been the biggest issue.
“When I’m out and about, I notice some places dont have signage or anything like that. I keep busienss packs in my car that have all the stickers and everything that they would need for their door, but everybody for the most part has got some type of signage on their door as far as no smoking within eight feet of the entrance,” said Lynch.
Fortunately, Lynch said businesses that do not have the proper signage don’t make a fuss when he explains the requirements and they are mostly apologetic for not having posted the proper signs.
According to IN.gov, the purpose of the Indiana Smoke-Free Air Law is to protect Hoosiers from the harmful effects of exposure to secondhand smoke, and restaurants and most business across the state are now smoke-free.
Lynch said the only resistance to the law they found was in the beginning stages as people were getting used to the idea.
“The only resistance we really faced was at first when people were unsure about it, but now, being almost a year later, it’s pretty much just no issue,” Lynch said. “It’s just a fear of the unknown and how it’s going to impact businesses. And I know with some of the businesses it probably has impacted them in some ways, but it’s also helped them out in others, and now it’s just a law so there’s nothing you can really do about it.”