What is the Georgia Smokefree Air Act of 2005?
In May 2005, Governor Sonny Perdue signed the Georgia Smokefree Air Act into law. Effective July 1, 2005, the new law prohibits smoking inside most public areas and outlines specific guidelines for allowing smoking in and around establishments that serve the public. However, the Act does allow for more restrictive local laws, rules, and regulations that are currently in place or may be passed in the future.

How is this law helpful to me?
This law is helpful because it reduces your exposure to secondhand smoke and its associated risks. Tobacco use, particularly smoking, is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Eliminating smoking in public places will reduce the number of tobacco-related illnesses and deaths, which number more than 11,000 each year in Georgia alone. This law provides cleaner and safer environments for us to live, work, and play.

Where is smoking NOT allowed? 

  • Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed facilities, including buildings owned, leased, or operated by the State or local governing authorities.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places except as indicated in code section 31-12A-6.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed areas within places of employment unless authorized in code section 31-12A-6.
    Examples include:
  • Restaurants and bars, 
except as noted in exemptions
  • Common work areas
  • Medical facilities
  • Auditoriums
  • Cafeterias
  • Classrooms
  • Stairs
      • Private offices
      • Restrooms
      • Elevators
      • Hallways
      • Employee lounges
      • Conference rooms
      • Meeting rooms
      • All other enclosed facilities
  • An owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of an establishment, facility, or outdoor area may declare an entire area as a non-smoking area.
  • The owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of any area in which smoking is prohibited must remove all ashtrays.

Smoking is prohibited wherever a no-smoking sign is posted.