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

Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA) Smoking in Heavy Commercial Vehicles, Farm Vehicles and Construction Equipment

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 "Indoor Area"

“Indoor Area” means all space between a floor and a ceiling that is bounded by walls, doorways, or windows, whether open or closed, covering more than 50 percent of the combined surface area of the vertical planes [wall space] constituting the perimeter of the area. A wall includes any retractable divider, garage door, or other physical barrier, whether temporary or permanent. A [standard] window screen is not a wall.

Permitted Smoking

Smoking is permitted at all times in cabs of vehicles registered with the Minnesota Department of Transportation under the following categories: heavy commercial vehicles with a total gross weight of greater than 26,000 pounds, farm trucks, implements of husbandry and special mobile equipment.

No smoking in terminals

Smoking is not allowed anywhere within indoor areas of terminals, loading docks or garages for heavy commercial vehicles, even if bay doors or garage doors are open.

Responsibilities of proprietors

Employers and facility managers continue to play an important role in controlling smoking in their place of business. In general, they are required to:

  • Make reasonable efforts to prevent indoor smoking
  • Post “No Smoking” signs
  • Ask persons who smoke in prohibited areas to refrain from smoking and to leave if they refuse to do so
  • Use lawful methods consistent with handling disorderly persons or trespassers for any person who refuses to comply after being asked to leave the premises
  • Refrain from providing ashtrays and other smoking equipment
  • Refuse to serve non-compliant persons

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 02:47PM