SmokeFree Nebraska

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Tobacco Free Nebraska
Public Health
 
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What you need to know

​​There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful.

With the implementation of the 2008 Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act, Nebraska has made tremendous progress in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke within the state.

Reducing exposure to secondhand smoke is vital to improving public health.

On this site you will find information and resources related to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act and smoke-free housing. Resources to assist housing managers in smoke-free policy implementation can be found on the Smoke-Free Housing Order Form.
 

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is a mix of the smoke created by the burning ends of cigarettes, cigars and pipes and the smoke exhaled by someone who is smoking.

In 2010, the U.S. Surgeon General issued the report: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease. The report concluded "There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful."

Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds. At least 70 of them are known specifically to cause cancer. In 2006, the Surgeon General found that secondhand smoke is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and asthma, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome. The Surgeon General also found that secondhand smoke is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States each year.

Only smoke-free air laws provide effective protection from secondhand smoke.

Additional Resources

Smoke-Free Housing

There are many benefits to implementing smoke-free housing policies:

1. Smoke-free policies can save money. Tobacco smoke causes a tremendous amount of damage to the inside of an apartment. The cost of rehabilitating a smoke-free unit can be up to seven times less than that of a smoking unit.

2. Smoke-free policies protect the health of tenants and employees.

3. Renters prefer smoke-free housing.

4. Smoke-free policies reduce the risk of smoking-related fires.

Additional Resources

Brochure: Smoke-Free Policies for Multi-Unit Housing

Fact Sheets:

Smoke-Free Housing Decals or Stickers and Smoke-Free Housing Door Hangers - to order either of these, send an email to dhhs.smokefree@nebraska.gov.

Smoke-Free Public Housing Policies in Nebraska report - 2011

Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing Policies in Nebraska report - 2011

U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Publication: Change is in the Air - An Action Guide for Establishing Smoke-Free Public Housing and Multifamily Properties

U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Smoke-Free Housing Notice

Clean Indoor Air Act

The Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008 required indoor workplaces in Nebraska to be smoke-free as of June 1, 2009.

The purpose of the act is to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment.

The act eliminates smoking in enclosed indoor workspaces including restaurants, bars, keno establishments, other workplaces (retail/office space, manufacturing, etc.) and indoor public places.

Options for Filing a Complaint


Inspections

Inspections of facilities can be conducted by either a local or state health department in response to a complaint. An inspector will determine:

  1. if an indoor public place or place of employment is entirely smoke-free and
  2. if an outdoor smoking area meets the guidelines.  

Penalties

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 for the first offense and a Class IV misdemeanor for the second and any subsequent offenses.

A proprietor who fails, neglects, or refuses to perform a duty under the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is guilty of a Class V misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class IV misdemeanor for the second and any subsequent offenses. 

Tobacco Retail Outlet Employee Waiver

Beginning November 1, 2015, Statute 71-5735 requires the owner of a tobacco retail outlet to provide to the Division of Public Health a copy of a waiver signed prior to employment by each employee on a form prescribed by the division. The waiver shall expressly notify the employee that he or she will be exposed to secondhand smoke, and the employee shall acknowledge that he or she understands the risks of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Tobacco Retail Outlet Employee Waiver

Additional Resources

Clean Indoor Air Act Brochure: What You Need to Know - English, Spanish

Factsheets for businesses and organizations: