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Smoking in Public Places Law

Smoking in Public Places Law
RCW 70.160 prohibits smoking in all public places and places of employment. Owners and persons in charge are responsible for ensure no employees, clients or patrons are smoking indoors or within 25 feet of any door, window, or exit. Owners must also post “No Smoking Signs” on all entrances to premise.

Information for businesses:


Spokane Regional Health District Resolution #16-01 Regarding Vaping Devices (Effective July 1, 2016)
On April 28, 2016 the Spokane Regional Health District’s Board of Health passed a Resolution to enforce the use of vaping devices in the same way it enforces smoking. This resolution applies to public places and places of employment within Spokane County. The Smoking in Public Places Law (RCW 70.160) and the Resolution requires that in public places and in places of employment businesses do the following:

  • Prohibit vaping and smoking in public places. Vaping or smoking any combustible product that produces vapor or smoke (including but not limited to tobacco, cigar, hookah, marijuana, and vaping devices) is not allowed in public places. Public places include bars, restaurants, bowling centers, skating rinks, and non-tribal casinos. The definition also includes private residences used to provide childcare, foster care, adult care, or similar social services, and at least 75 percent of the sleeping quarters within a hotel.
  • Prohibit vaping and smoking in places of employment. This includes patios and other outdoor seating and dining areas that employees are required to service or clean.
  •  Post “No Smoking. No Vaping” signs in your establishment. Signs must be posted conspicuously at each building entrance (including service, employee, or any door that opens from the outside). Retail and retail service establishments must also place signage in prominent locations throughout their place of business.
  • Prohibit vaping and smoking within 25ft of entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve the enclosed area where smoking is prohibited. Businesses or building managers are responsible for enforcing this provision on their property or property under their control particularly with regard to employee smoking. If vaping or smoking occurs within 25 ft. on property that is not under the control of the business (i.e. public sidewalks) then local law enforcement agencies are responsible for enforcement. People passing by or through a public place while on a public place or public right of way are not considered to have intentionally violated this provision.

Report a Violation
SRHD is responsible for the enforcement of the law. SRHD enforces SIPP by conducting random inspections and by responding to complaints from the public. When a violation is witnessed, business owners may receive warnings, civil fines, and re-inspection fees for each return visit.

To report a violation, please call 509-232-1707 or click here.





Variance applications to rebut the 25 foot rule are available. Please see all the forms below for complete details, requirements and procedures. Please note that until a variance has been granted, you must comply with every aspect of the law as written.


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August 21, 2017