Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act: Freedom to Breathe - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA) Smoking by Scientific Study Participants

The Freedom to Breathe (FTB) provisions amended the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA) to further protect employees and the public from the health hazards of secondhand smoke. The FTB amendments became effective October 1, 2007.

The MCIAA describes where smoking is prohibited, outlines the responsibilities of employers, managers and other persons in charge and lists exemptions that affect their workplaces and facilities.

Definition of "Smoking"

“Smoking” means inhaling or exhaling smoke from any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or any other lighted tobacco product or plant product. Smoking also includes carrying a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other lighted tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation.

Permitted smoking

Indoor smoking by participants in scientific studies may be allowed only if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. The scientific study must be peer reviewed and related to the health effects of smoking
  2. A policy must be established by the administrator of the program to minimize exposure of nonsmokers to smoke
  3. The smoking policy must be submitted, in writing, to the Commissioner of Health for approval and must be approved, in writing, by the Commissioner before indoor smoking is allowed
  4. Smoking may only be allowed in a designated, separated room ventilated at a rate of 60 cubic feet per minute per person
  5. A sign must be posted at each entrance to the study facility that states: “Smoking is prohibited, except in designated areas”
  6. A sign must be posted at the entrance to each designated smoking room that displays the international smoking-permitted symbol or states: “Smoking Permitted."

Outdoor smoking

The MCIAA does not regulate outdoor smoking, regardless of distance from building openings such as doors and windows.

Compliance and enforcement

MDH has compliance authority over the MCIAA and may delegate compliance activities to local units of government. MDH, a local board of health or any affected person can request a court order directing a repeat MCIAA violator to stop.

In addition to the compliance authority provided to MDH and local units of government, local law enforcement has the authority to issue petty misdemeanor citations to proprietors or individuals who knowingly fail to comply with the MCIAA.

Local government ordinances

Local governments retain the authority to adopt and enforce more stringent measures to protect individuals from secondhand smoke.

Retaliation prohibited

An employer, manager or other person in charge cannot fire, refuse to hire, penalize, discriminate or retaliate against an employee, applicant, or customer who exercises any right to a smoke-free environment provided under the MCIAA.

Updated Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 02:55PM