A website and hotline where concerned citizens can report suspected violations of the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2008 was launched by the Division of Public Health.
DPH and its Non-Communicable Disease Bureau recognized the importance of the cooperation of the public in enforcing the law.
“Empowering residents to assert their right to smoke-free air is an important element of a successful smoke-free enforcement strategy. This resource encourages the community to take action when there is a suspected violation,” DPH director Margarita Aldan said.
“Now the public can partner with DPH to ensure our community can enjoy smoke-free air where protected under the law,” NCDB administrator Becky Robles said.
Through the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s website, www.chcc.gov.mp, concerned citizens who would like to report a suspected violation can do so by clicking on the banner with the smoke-free symbol entitled “Clean Air Violations.”
Complainants will be redirected to a form, which is automatically sent to health official to notify them of suspected violations upon completion.
A violation may also be reported via telephone through (670) 323-QUIT (7848) or call the main CHCC phone line at (670) 234-8950 and ask to be connected to the NCDB during office hours, Monday through Friday, from 7:30am to 4:30pm.
DPH said that after a complaint is received, enforcement officers working in coordination with their division will follow up on all potential violations within 72 hours.
The Smoke-Free Air Act of 2008 prohibits smoking in government buildings and vehicles, public places, places of employment, and school and college campuses.
Businesses where smoking is prohibited under the law must post “No Smoking” signs at every entrance, remove all ashtrays, notify and inform all existing and potential employees that smoking is prohibited, inform patrons and customers that smoking on the premises is prohibited, and refuse service to a person who does not refrain from smoking.
Businesses and individuals found to be in violation can be fined under the law. A business in violation can receive a fine up to $500, and if the establishment is not in compliance by its fourth violation, the business license may be revoked.
An individual, on the other hand, may be fined up to $200. Each day not in compliance is considered an individual violation.
For more information regarding the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2008, visit www.reachcnmi.wix.com/reach or email the REACH Local Project Assistant, Jessica Lorfing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.