At its most recent meeting, the Munster Town Council passed a comprehensive ban on smoking in and around workplaces and public spaces, with some hefty fines for violators.
The ban applies to all workplaces within the town with few exemptions. Tobacco specialty bars and retail stores were specifically mentioned in the list of places where smoking will be prohibited, as our private clubs. The outdoor areas of bars and restaurants will also be smoke-free, unless they are restricted to persons who are at least 18-years-old.
It will also ban smoking in the outdoor common areas of apartment buildings, condominiums, trailer parks, retirement facilities, nursing homes, and other multi-unit residential facilities. Designated smoking areas can be set up, but according to the ordinance they are not to exceed twenty-five percent of the total outdoor common area, which must be located at least fifteen (15) feet outside entrances, operable windows, and ventilation systems of enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited.
In addition, a 15 foot smoke-free buffer zone is being implemented around all places where smoking is banned.
Individuals who allow smoking in prohibited areas can face fines beginning at $200 and escalating to $1,500 for multiple violations within a year, and can even be charged with being a public nuisance.
Munster is located just under 30 miles south of Chicago and is home to approximately 23,000 residents.