Article 13E and Article 13F of the New York State Public Health Law establish the foundation of tobacco regulation for the state. Local counties have the option to create local laws and sanitary code sections that are stricter than those established by the state.
In Westchester County, the Board of Health passed Article XX of the Westchester County Sanitary code, which prohibits smoking in all dining areas of all restaurants, including bars and bar areas.Smoking is also prohibited in any outdoor service area of a restaurant, including patios, decks and sidewalks.
Apart from restaurants, smoking is permitted outdoors, but not under any kind of overhang that might trap smoke.
Westchester and NY State laws regarding smoking in worksites:
- Chapter 534, Westchester’s Smoke-Free Worksite Law, went into effect in 2003 and was amended in 2015 to include electronic cigarettes. This law prohibits smoking at all worksites, including restaurants, taverns and bars, in Westchester County with one or more employees.
- The New York State Legislature updated a similar law, Article 13E, effective statewide in 2003. Although the laws are similar, there are some important differences. Article 13E also makes it illegal to smoke in schools, banks, retail stores and hallways of apartment buildings.
Where there are differences in these two laws, the more stringent sections of the two laws will apply in Westchester County.
- It is illegal to sell cigarettes to minors under 18 years old in New York State. Merchants who do so could be fined and lose their lottery and cigarette license. View the text of Article 13 F of the New York State Public Health Law (known as ATUPA) – Adolescent Tobacco Usage Prevention Act.
- Chapter 535, Restrictions Relating to the Sale of Tobacco Products to Minors, provides that vending machines which sell tobacco products are restricted to make it harder for minors to obtain tobacco. This local law makes it illegal to allow self-service of tobacco products. Tobacco has to be behind the service counter or locked. A person at least 18 years of age or older has to supervise the sale of tobacco. Tobacco vending machines, in addition to meeting the restrictions in the state law, must also in Westchester County be located at least 20 feet from an outside door and be equipped with a lock-out device that requires activation by a bartender or person in charge.
- Chapter 529- Herbal Cigarette Sale law provides that it is illegal to sell herbal cigarettes to a minor in Westchester.
Westchester County Sanitary Code: Article 20-Clean Indoor Air Act
Chapter 534, Westchester’s Smoke-Free Worksite Law (updated to reflect electronic cigarettes)