Lost amid the press regarding the new law legalizing cannabis use is the fact that the law also restricts smoking far more in the workplace and affords employers more flexibility as well.

The new law requires employers to to ban smoking and e-cigarette use in any area of the workplace (this will apply to tobacco or cannabis). Previously, employers with five or more employees could designate a smoking room for smoking tobacco.

The new law also requires employers to ban smoking both inside the workplace and outside within 25 feet of a doorway, operable window or air intake vent.  Thus, those employees who pop just outside the door to “take a smoke” should be prohibited from doing so unless they move further away.

The new law also allows employers to ban smoking entirely on the property. Previously, employers could just ban it in their “facility”.

There are a few exceptions that will apply including those facilities that are exempted under the Clean Indoor Air Act.

Interesting, the bill does not appear to modify Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-40s which prohibits employers from requiring, as a condition of employer, that employees refrain from smoking outside the course of employment.

These restrictions become effective October 1, 2021.

For employers, this is a good time to review your policies and practices regarding smoking and, if applicable, review where you have your smoking areas as those areas may have to change if you’re still going to allow it on premises.