DAYTON - Bar and restaurant owners are throwing out ash trays and posting no-smoking signs to get ready for Ohio's new smoking ban, which takes effect Thursday.
The law, backed by the American Cancer Society and approved by 58 percent of voters on Election Day, prohibits smoking in nearly all public buildings and work places. Exceptions include tobacco shops, designated hotel rooms and enclosed areas of nursing homes.
But some business owners say they're confused about how the law will be enforced - it's mostly complaint-driven, according to state health officials. Proprietors will get a warning letter for first offenses, with subsequent violations carrying civil fines of $100 to $2,500.
The state has until next spring to evaluate the enforcement guidelines and determine if changes are needed, said Jay Carey, spokesman with the Ohio Department of Health.