Initiative 901was passed by a wide voter margin and went into effect December 8, 2005. The passage of I-901 makes Washington the 10th state in the nation to have a comprehensive smoke-free workplace act. The revised Washington Clean Indoor Air Act will require all public places and places of employment to be smoke-free. The new law:
- Specifically adds schools, restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and non-tribal casinos to the definition of a public place.
- Calls for a 25-foot perimeter or “presumptively reasonable distance” of no smoking in front of public building entrances, windows, and air intakes.
- Requires hotels to maintain 75% of their rooms as smoke-free.
The Whatcom County Health Department enforces the Clean Indoor Air Act for businesses, including bars and restaurants. Local law enforcement agencies maintain responsibility for individuals violating the law. Additional enforcement will be achieved by a social compliance system. This means employees and the public may confidentially report violations of the law to the Whatcom County Health Department.