Paducah Smoke-free Policy

Comprehensive Smoke-Free Policy 

In April 2018, the City strengthened its exisiting smoke-free policy to a comprehensive smoke-free policy (Chapter 54, Article II, Division 2 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances).  The previous policy enacted in 2006 was considered to be a moderate policy.  Mayor Brandi Harless said, “This [2018 ordinance] is based on evidence that these types of ordinances [comprehensive smoke-free] make an impact on the smoking rates.”

View the Comprehensive Smoke-Free Ordinance >>

View the Comprehensive Smoke-Free Ordinance as Compared with 2006 Version (2018 changes/additions/deletions are in color) >>

The ordinance, which was adopted at the April 10, 2018 meeting of the Paducah Board of Commissioners, continues the prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places and extends the prohibition to all places of employment, whether public or private.  The following locations are exceptions:  private vehicles, retail tobacco stores, designated workplaces pursuant to KRS 61.165, private organizations or clubs, and private dwellings unless the dwelling also is used as a childcare facility, adult day care center, assisted living facility, hotel/motel guest room, or health care facility.

This ordinance also prohibits smoking in municipal and school-owned outdoor sports arenas and amphitheaters, public or private owned outdoor playgrounds, shelters, swimming pools, and spray-grounds, and municipally-owned outdoor public parks, playgrounds, trails, shelters, swimming pools, and spray-grounds.  The outdoor area at Paxton Park Golf Course is an exception.

The definition of smoking now includes the use of electronic or oral smoking devices.  The definition of place of employment has been amended to be defined as an enclosed area under the control of a public or private employer, including, but not limited to, work areas, private offices, employee lounges, restrooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, employee cafeterias, hallways, common area, construction sites, and temporary offices.  A private residence is not a place of employment unless it is used as a childcare facility, adult day care center, assisted living facility, hotel/motel guest room, or health care facility.

Members of the McCracken County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) have been working since 2016 to educate the community about amending the City’s ordinance to make it more of a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance.  Presentations by the group were given in 2017 at the August 8 and December 19 City Commission meetings.

Smoke-Free Ordinance Adopted in 2006

Note:  This ordinance has been replaced by the version adopted April 10, 2018.

About the 2006 Ordinance

The Paducah Board of Commissioners adopted an ordinance on September 22, 2006 that prohibits the smoking of tobacco products in buildings open to the public.  The ordinance was adopted with a deadline for compliance by April 1, 2007.     -Paducah Smoking Ban Ordinance-

On January 20, 2010 the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy released a report that shows as a result of compliance with Paducah's smoke-free law that covers all workplaces and places open to the public, the indoor air quality in Paducah public venues improved by 89%.  Indoor air quality was assessed in nine businesses before and after implementation of the Paducah smoking ban.

-News Release:  Indoor Air Quality Results, January 2010-

-Report:  Indoor Air Quality Results, January 2010-

Frequently Asked Questions (2006 Ordinance)

Is the smoking ordinance just for restaurants and bars?     No, the smoke-free policy is NOT just for restaurants. It applies to any public building or enclosed area that is open to the public.

Where are some of the places that smoking IS definitely allowed?     Smoking is allowed at home, in hotel rooms where smoking is permitted, in private offices, in outdoor beer gardens, and in break rooms when there is another smoke-free break room.

Where are some of the places that smoking IS DEFINITELY NOT allowed?     Smoking is not allowed in restaurants or bars, in hotel lobbies or business lobbies that are open to the public, in bingo halls or church recreation rooms, in government buildings frequented by the public, and in public hallways and bathrooms.

Can I add an outdoor beer garden to my bar or restaurant and allow smoking in it?     Yes, but before you spend any money on fencing or sunshades, check with the Fire Prevention Division at 270-444-8527. There are fire exit, setback, and other life-safety code rules that apply to outdoor service areas attached to a bar or restaurant. City staff members will make sure your plans comply with the rules.

Responsibility of Business Owners (2006 Ordinance)

If you are an owner, employer, manager, or person in control of an enclosed area and someone smokes in your establishment on or after April 1, 2007, you have the responsibility to ask them to refrain from smoking in the public area. If they refuse, you note this response, report it with the Paducah Police Department (270-444-8550), and the individual can receive fines starting at $50. If as owner you refuse to ask patrons not to smoke, you can be cited with fines up to $250. In addition to individual persons being fined, if the same business (whether owner, employer, manager, or person in control of an enclosed area) violates this ordinance three times in one year, the result could be the suspension or revocation of any permit or business license issued by the City for the premises where the violation occurs.

The ordinance also calls for No Smoking Signs or the International No Smoking Symbol to be clearly posted in every building and enclosed area. All ashtrays and ash containers are to be removed.

Responsibility of Patrons & Citizens (2006 Ordinance)

A person who smokes in an area regardless of the owner's reminder that smoking is prohibited in an area can be fined $50.  They may also be asked to leave the premises if they refuse to do so.