Understanding the Utah Smoking Law: Smoke-Free Environments

The Utah Indoor Clean Air Act, a legislation enacted with the aim of safeguarding the residents of Utah from the perils of secondhand tobacco smoke, encompasses not only traditional combustible tobacco products but also vapor products and hookah. Over time, an amendment was introduced to the law to extend its jurisdiction to include e-cigarette vapor as well. Primarily, this comprehensive legislation prohibits smoking within the premises of nearly all governmental and privately-owned establishments across Utah. It is important to note that the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act comprises both a statutory component, delineated in Utah Code § 26-38, and a regulatory aspect, outlined in Utah Admin Code R392-510.

The act of smoking has been prohibited in various settings, including indoor spaces where multiple employees work or where public access is permitted, child care establishments, all government-owned buildings and offices, work vehicles, clubs and taverns, private and public elementary and secondary school premises, buildings operated by social, fraternal, or religious organizations, and venues rented for private events. Additionally, smoking is forbidden within a 25-foot radius from entrances, windows, or air intakes of designated smoke-free areas. It is important to note that business proprietors hold the authority to prohibit smoking throughout their entire property. 

Furthermore, outdoor smoking areas must be situated at least 25 feet away from building entrances, windows, or air intakes to maintain compliance with the regulations. These additional provisions contribute to the comprehensive scope of the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act in protecting individuals from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

man smokes

In locations where smoking is permitted, it is imperative that the establishment is equipped with a HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system to effectively prevent the dispersion of smoke into public areas. For buildings that have designated smoking-permitted areas as outlined in Section § 26-38-3(2). This statement confirms that the designated smoking area effectively safeguards individuals outside the area from being exposed to tobacco smoke originating within it. Should any modifications be made to the HVAC system of a building, the owner is required to obtain updated certification for the revised system.

Signage Requirements and Smoking Policy Transparency

To ensure transparency and awareness, prominently displayed signs indicating the smoking policy of the establishment must be posted. 

  • The precise specifications for these signage requirements can be found in Utah Admin Code R392-510-12. These signs play a crucial role in informing individuals about the smoking regulations within the premises;
  • Importantly, employees who raise concerns or complaints against their employers for failing to provide adequate protection against secondhand smoke cannot face any form of retaliation or punishment from their employers; 
  • This provision exists to safeguard the rights of employees and encourage a safe and healthy working environment.

Overall, these additional measures outlined in the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act contribute to the comprehensive framework established to protect individuals from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and ensure appropriate measures are in place to maintain air quality within various establishments.


The responsibility of adhering to this law falls upon the proprietor of the establishment, which includes owners, managers, employees, and others associated with the property, business, or building. In the event that an individual is found smoking in a prohibited area, it becomes the proprietor’s obligation to either request the person to cease smoking or to vacate the premises.

Failure to comply with the law may result in penalties for the proprietor. For the initial violation, a fine of $99 can be imposed. Subsequent offenses carry more substantial penalties ranging from $99 to $499 per occurrence. These penalties serve as a deterrent and encourage proprietors to uphold the regulations established by the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act, thereby promoting a smoke-free environment and protecting the health and well-being of individuals.