Still, the law goes into effect on Sunday, July 1 and will have an impact on many business throughout Putnam County and the state.
The law will prohibit smoking in all businesses, except for private clubs, bars, casinos and retail tobacco shops. Indiana will join 39 other states in protecting workers from secondhand smoke in the workplace.
In the case of clubs, bars and tobacco shops, things are less clear.
Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Director Alia Hazel cited the Greencastle ordinance enacted five years ago as a stronger law.
"In a lot of ways, the Greencastle law is a lot clearer and more effective than the state law," Hazel said.
The Greencastle law bans smoking outright in public places, while not affecting private clubs. Bars and tobacco shops get no such exemptions.
However, under the state law, which will apply to all places where local laws are not more restrictive, certain bars and tobacco shops have a possible exemption.
A bar or tavern that does not allow people under 21 may apply for an exemption from the state. If, however, the facility has a family room, it is not eligible for an exemption.
Similarly, retail tobacco stores are eligible to apply for an exemption if they only permit those 18 and older and if tobacco sales account for 85 percent of annual gross sales.
The state standards for private clubs are more restrictive than those in Greencastle, and therefore apply to private clubs in the city.
Clubs must take a member vote before applying for the exemption and then must revote every two years. Furthermore, smoking may only be allowed in one room. The room must be completely sectioned off by doors and minors may not be allowed in.
Bars within establishments that allow minors, such as bowling alleys and hotels, are not eligible for an exception.
For establishments that must go smoke free, the Tobacco and Cessation Commission at the Indiana State Department of Health has developed free "Breathe Easy Indiana" toolkits to help businesses with the implementation of the new law.
"Transitioning to a smoke-free business requires planning and education," said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. "The toolkits are a great resource to help businesses be ready."
Items in the toolkit include:
* Employee training guide
* Business checklist
* Smoke-free window clings
* Coasters, posters and table tents
* Quick reference brochure
Businesses covered by the policy must post signs stating "smoking is prohibited within eight feet of this entrance" or use similar language. Signs must be visible at each public entrance.
Often smoke-free air policies in the workplace will encourage employees who smoke to consider quitting.
To order a free toolkit or to learn more about the Indiana Smoke Free Air Law, visit www.breatheindiana.com.