Tobacco Free Nebraska
Clean Indoor Air Act
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the law’s purpose?
The purpose of the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment. LB395, which amends the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act, requires every indoor workplace in the state to be smoke-free.
What does the law cover?
The Act eliminates smoking in enclosed indoor areas including restaurants, bars, keno establishments, horse racing venues and other workplaces (retail/office space, manufacturing, etc.) as well as indoor public places.
When did it go into effect?
The law went into effect June 1, 2009. Businesses created smoke-free workplaces and may create smoke-free outdoor areas for patrons at any time.
Are there any exceptions to the law?
The only exceptions are:
Up to 20 percent of hotel rooms.
Tobacco-only retailers defined as a “store that sells only tobacco and products directly related to tobacco. Products directly related to tobacco do not include alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, candy, groceries or gasoline.”
Facilities researching the health effects of smoking.
Private residences, except when a residence is being used as a licensed child care program.
What is an “indoor area”?
Indoor area is defined as “an area enclosed by a floor, a ceiling and walls on all sides that are continuous and solid except for closeable entry and exit doors and windows and in which less than twenty percent of the total wall area is permanently open to the outdoors. For walls in excess of eight feet in height, only the first eight feet shall be used in determining such percentage.”
What are the penalties for breaking the law?
A person who smokes in a place of employment or a public place in violation of the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is guilty of a Class V misdemeanor (maximum $100 fine) for the first offense and Class IV misdemeanor (minimum $100, maximum $500) for the second and any subsequent offenses. Charges can be dismissed upon successful completion of a smoking cessation program. A proprietor that fails, neglects or refuses to perform a duty under the Act is guilty of a class V misdemeanor for the first offense and Class IV misdemeanor for the second and subsequent offenses.
What second hand aerosol?
The use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices is on the rise. In 2016, the Surgeon General issued a report and concluded that e-cigarette aerosol is not a harmless water vapor that is emitted, but rather can contain harmful chemicals. Most aerosol is a mixture of nicotine, tiny particles of metal, and chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Secondhand e-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful chemicals including:
Fine and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
Flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
Volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust
Heavy metals, such as nickel, tin and lead
E-cigarette aerosol potentially exposes bystanders to nicotine and other harmful substances