Since 1995, Utah's Indoor Clean Air Act has been a familiar requirement for business owners. But within the last few years, some changes in the act's requirements have occurred. While they haven't happened all at once, they still hold significance. Since Jan. 1, 2009 all bars and clubs in Utah are required to be smoke-free, but this also prohibits all employees of any other business from smoking within 25 feet of their building.
With the recent amendments coming into place, the Southeastern South Eastern Utah District Health Department (SEUHD) has undertaken an effort to inform all businesses in the area of the requirements.
"What we're going to do is place this (the requirements) in all business license renewals; the purpose is to let all businesses owners know about the changes," said Georgina Nowark, of the UDHD.
In total, the requirements will go out to businesses in: Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties. In order to do this, the UDHD appeared before city councils and county commissions to gain support for the notices. If a business finds itself in violation, civil penalties of up to $5,000 per occurrence can be enforced. For individual employees caught smoking within 25 feet of an entrance or air intake, civil fines can be enforced up to $500.
"It's just something that you have to do; I really don't have too many problems, but once in a while people forget and need to be reminded," said Tony Saiparas, owner of the Silver Dollar Bar in Price. "Everybody (clients) thinks it's stupid. It's a bar; about 90 percent of clientele smoke. But over the last 10 to 11 months, (we've) just had to develop new habits."