Understanding Delaware’s Clean Air Act

photo of smoke-free Delaware outdoor billboardPassed by the General Assembly in November 2002, Delaware’s Clean Indoor Air Act is intended to protect nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke in most enclosed spaces to which the public is invited or permitted. 

This includes:

  • Indoor workplaces both public and private
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Schools and childcare facilities
  • Casinos and pool halls
  • At least 75% of the guest rooms in any hotel or motel
  • Private automobiles being used for the public transportation of children

Most recently, the Delaware General Assembly amended its Clean Indoor Air Act to include electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), prohibiting use of such devices in indoor enclosed areas to which the general public is invited or in which the general public is permitted.  

Enforcement strategies are set out in the act, specifying penalties of $100 for a first violation and $250 for subsequent violations.  If entities do not meet the requirements of the regulation, a fine of $100-$1,000 will be administered.

Delaware’s Clean Air Act does not preclude local jurisdictions from developing additional policies.  This means that local municipalities are free to implement a rule requiring smokers to stand a certain distance from public buildings, ban smoking from indoor spaces not included in the state law, or pass ordinances prohibiting smoking in outdoor public spaces (parks, playgrounds, beaches).

State of Delaware. (2015). Clean Indoor Air Act Regulations. 16 Delaware Code, Chapter 29.