Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Let us know how we are doing! Call our Customer Service Feedback Line at 314-615-SERV (7378) and leave us a message!

Contact your Health Department

Follow your Health Department on Facebook or Twitter

No Smoking

Saint Louis County becomes smoke-free

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: When does St. Louis County go smoke-free?

A: Beginning at midnight on January 2, 2011, the Saint Louis County Indoor Clean Air Code prohibits smoking in all indoor workplaces and public places including restaurants and bars. A limited amount of exemptions are made in the Code for establishments that meet the criteria.

Q: What does the Indoor Clean Air Code require a proprietor/owner/manager to do?

A: They must not permit smoking inside a public place, a place of employment or outside within 15 feet from the door, windows that open or ventilation intakes (605.040). A proprietor/owner/manager must not permit smoke to drift/infiltrate into a building through an entrance, a window, a ventilation system or other means. They must communicate to all existing employees and all applicants for employment that smoking is prohibited. The Code requires the removal of all tobacco materials (e.g., lighted or heated smoking materials, ashtrays) and that No Smoking signs be posted visibly on the exterior of the establishment. (605.050)

Q: What will happen if I am found in violation of the code?

A: If a complaint is made, the proprietor/owner/manager will receive a visit from an Environmental Representative and an investigation will begin. Based on findings as a result of the investigation, citations or penalties may be assessed. (Chapter 605)

Q: What are the penalties?

A: Both the individual as well as the business or establishment can be fined under this law. (605.090)

  Individual Fines: Fifty dollars ($50) for each offense
  Business Owner Fines: One hundred dollars ($100) for first offense

Two hundred dollars ($200) for a second violation

Five hundred dollars ($500) for any additional violation
  Each day in which a violation occurs shall be a separate violation. (605.100)

This chapter shall be enforced by the St. Louis County Department of Health and by any authorized designee of the Director of the Department of Health. (605.090)

Q: How can I file a complaint?

A: Complaints can be filed with the St. Louis County Health Department. To file a complaint by phone, call 1-314-615-8900 during regular business hours. Click here to file a complaint electronically. (Link to PDF of Complaint Form)

Q: Does the law prohibit smoking outdoors?

A: Smoking in outdoor areas is not prohibited. However, the law does prohibit smoking within fifteen (15) feet of all entrances and some businesses may declare the outside area of an establishment as a nonsmoking place. (605.040; 605.055)

Q: Do signs need to be posted?

A: Signs clearly stating smoking is prohibited must be prominently displayed on the outside of the establishment at all public and employee entrances. A person having control of a place shall clearly and conspicuously post "No Smoking" signs or the international "No Smoking" symbol (consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it) near all entrances where smoking is prohibited pursuant to this chapter. Such signage shall consist of letters not less than one inch in height. (605.050)

Click here to download and print signs that comply with the law. (Link to NO SMOKING sign)

Q: Where do I post signs in my building?

A: The signs must be placed at all public and employee entrances and exits. (605.050)

Q: My business or workplace is already smoke-free. Do I need to post new signs?

A: Yes. Everyone must post new signs that meet the requirements of the law (see above for requirements). (605.050)

Q: What if our entire campus or property is already smoke-free?

A: Smoke-free campuses still require new signs that meet the requirements of the law to be posted at all entrances and exits of the building (see above for requirements). (605.050)

Q: Can my municipality still pass a local smoke-free ordinance?

A: Yes. The new County law does still permit local control, as long as the local ordinance is no less stringent than the County law. Local laws can also increase fine structures for violations, add enforcement agencies and protocol, and prohibit smoking in other areas. (605.070)



Q: Are there any areas that are exempt from the smoke-free ordinance?

A: Yes, there are some limited exemptions in the Indoor Clean Air Code. The following areas are exempt (605.060):

  a) Private residences, not serving as enclosed places of employment or enclosed public places
  b) Private clubs
  c) Performers on stage in a theatrical production, where smoking is required as part of the production
  d) Private and semi-private rooms in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, the residents of which are all smokers and have all requested the management of the facility to be placed in a room where smoking is permitted
  e) Retail establishments in which food is not prepared on the premises and where more than 60% of the volume of trade or business carried on is the sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products
  f) Permanently designated smoking rooms, not to exceed twenty percent of the guest rooms
  g) Cigar bars, provided such entity is in operation on or before the effective date of this chapter and provided that smoke does not infiltrate into areas where smoking is otherwise prohibited
  g) Cigar bars, provided such entity is in operation on or before the effective date of this chapter and provided that smoke does not infiltrate into areas where smoking is otherwise prohibited
  h) Casino gaming areas
  i) Drinking establishments which are in operation on or before the effective date of this chapter; provided, however, that no smoke infiltrates into areas where smoking is otherwise prohibited, and further provided that each such drinking establishment has posted in a place visible to the public from its exterior a certificate of exemption issued by the Department of Revenue. Click here to apply for this exemption. (Link to Department of Revenue’s form on their website)
  j) Areas designated and posted as smoking areas by the Airport Authority of Lambert St. Louis International Airport

Q: Are there any exceptions made for restaurants?

A: No, restaurants are considered enclosed areas. However, smoking in outside dining areas may be permitted. These areas will be inspected and evaluated on a case by case basis. (605.040)

Q: What is considered an enclosed area?

A: A space bound by walls (with or without windows) continuous from the floor to the ceiling and enclosed by doors, including, but not limited to offices, rooms, all space therein screened by partitions which do not extend to the ceiling or are not solid, "office landscaping" or similar structures and hallways. (605.030)

Q: Where can I get information if I want to quit smoking?

A: If you smoke and want to quit, you can call the Missouri Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. and speak with a trained “quit coach” who will work with you to develop a plan to quit smoking. For additional helpful resources, you may visit

Please click here to view a complete list of exempt establishments. (Link to Department of Revenue’s form on their website)