Smoking ban covers stadiums
BY CLIFF PEALE | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office today advised the Bengals and Reds to ban smoking completely in Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park as a result of the smoking ban passed by Ohio voters earlier this month.
The ban will take effect Dec. 7, and the teams had requested guidance on how they should respond. Both the stadiums currently have designated smoking areas in concourses or stairs, and they felt the impact of the law on those areas was unclear. Smoking already is prohibited in the seating bowl of both stadiums.
In an e-mail sent this morning, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nee Fong Chin advised the county to prohibit smoking, post no-smoking signs with a telephone number to report violations and remove all ashtrays or other receptacles. The county owns both stadiums.
“The smoking policy you sent me for PBS already prohibits smoking in many areas,” she wrote. “The law will now prohibit smoking on open-air stair landings, open ramps in designated areas if visitors can be influenced by second-hand smoke. Smoking will be prohibited in suites.”
Since the Bengals are in the midst of their home schedule, the prosecutor's opinion would have a more immediate effect than it has on the Reds, he said. The team's first home game after the law takes effect is Dec. 10 vs. the Oakland Raiders.
The Ohio Department of Health will develop rules, and the Cincinnati Health Department probably will end up enforcing the law and levying any penalties. The law covers any business with employees. It does not cover outdoor areas but bans smoking "immediately adjacent to the doorway."