LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Changes to Louisville's smoke free ordinance go into effect on Monday, August 21, 2017.

The use of e-cigs and hookah products won't be allowed inside public places or worksites. 

In May, Metro Council voted to expand the city's smoke free ordinance to include e-cigs and hookah. The expanded ordinance also bans smoking within 15 feet of the entrance to a public building.

The updated smoking ordinance has two exemptions. The use of e-cigs will be allowed in retail shops in which at least 85 percent of revenues are derived from the sale of electronic smoking devices, accessories and products. The facilities must not allow people under age 18 in the building, must not sell alcoholic beverages and can't serve food.

Also hookah lounges that were in business before May 1, 2017 can continue to operate with non-tobacco hookah consumption. They have to register with the city, can not allow people under 18 to enter, and can not serve food. 

Enforcement of the amended Smoke Free Ordinance remains the same as the previous ordinance. Owners or managers are responsible for asking people who smoke or use e-cigarettes indoors to stop.  If a business is out of compliance, the public can report violations to MetroCall by dialing 311.

Establishments that violate the Smoke Free Ordinance are subject to the following fines within a one-year period:

  • 1st violation - no less than $50 and no more than $100
  • 2nd violation - no less than $150 and no more than $250
  • 3rd violation and each additional violation - no less than $350 and no more than $500

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness says two top causes of death in the city are heart disease and cancer. It says both are directly related to smoking and exposure to secondhand emissions. And restricting emissions from electronic cigarettes and hookahs helps reduce exposure to chemicals that are known carcinogens and respiratory irritants.

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