Beginning Monday, Madison County will enforce an amended smoking ban that includes electronic cigarettes.
The Madison County Board of Health voted in April to include e-cigarettes and hookahs, or water pipes, in its indoor smoking restrictions, which have been in effect since 2007. The amended regulation also eliminates smoking in retail tobacco stores, a practice that was exempted in the original regulation.
The amended regulation continues to prohibit smoking in enclosed public places such as restaurants, bars and businesses. It also prohibits smoking in the workplace.
Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge, creating vapor that the smoker inhales. A tiny light on the tip glows like a cigarette.
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Penalties for violation of the Madison County ordinance include a fee not to exceed $50 for individuals. For a business, there is a $100 fine for the first violation, $300 for a second violation and $250 for each additional violation. Continuous violations also might result in suspension of any permit or license related to the business.
Madison County joins Bardstown and Glasgow in prohibiting e-cigarettes. The Bullitt County Board of Health approved a similar regulation in late March; it takes effect Sept. 19.
A campus-wide tobacco-free policy that begins July 1 at St. Catharine College in Washington County also prohibits e-cigarettes and hookahs.
Lexington's smoke-free ordinance, passed in 2003 and implemented in 2004, does not include e-cigarettes.
Information about the Madison regulation is available online at Madisoncountyhealthdept.org. To file a complaint about smoking in indoor places, call the health department at (859) 626-4271.