by Peter A. Jones
A new law going into effect October 29 means employees of New York hospitals and residential healthcare facilities may not smoke anywhere on the grounds or within 15 feet of any entrance or exit to a building or the grounds of such facilities. The law allows a narrow exception for patients of residential healthcare facilities and their visitors or guests, but there’s no exception for employees.
Although the New York Clean Indoor Air Act has prohibited smoking by employees in the workplace for years, that law doesn’t prohibit smoking outside an employer’s premises. The new amendment, signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 31, requires general hospitals and residential healthcare facilities to prohibit their employees from smoking on their grounds and within 15 feet of all entrances to or exits from their grounds.