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Workplace Smoking Rules in Puerto Rico

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on June 22, 2012.

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Employers in Puerto Rico must comply with these state rules regulating smoking in the workplace.

Smoking is prohibited in public places and workplaces, with exceptions.

Employers covered: Employers with one or more employees.

Written policy requirements: Written policy requirements are not specified.

Posting requirements: Persons in charge of places where smoking is prohibited by law must post signs that state, at the least, "Smoking Prohibited" followed by a reference to the law regulating smoking. The signs must be in clear and legible type.

No smoking areas: Smoking is prohibited in any workplace where there is one or more employees. This prohibition includes:

  • bars and pubs
  • discotheques
  • liquor stores
  • casinos
  • convention and commerce centers
  • commercial centers
  • private transportation vehicles when a minor child is seated in a protective car seat or is present in the vehicle and is under 13 years of age

Smoking is prohibited in the following places:

  • public buildings, departments, public agencies and instrumentalities
  • classrooms, meeting halls, libraries, halls, school lunchrooms, cafeterias and restrooms in schools, public and private institutions at all learning levels
  • public elevators (passenger and cargo)
  • theaters and movie houses
  • public and private hospitals and health centers
  • public transportation vehicles
  • restaurants, cafeterias, establishments for the sale of food and fast-food establishments
  • museums
  • funeral parlors
  • courts
  • areas that contain flammable fluids, gasses or materials
  • child care centers

Permitted smoking areas: The prohibitions against smoking in certain public and private places do not prevent persons in charge of places where smoking is prohibited from designating smoking areas in their facilities if the following requirements are met:

  • the smoking area is clearly identified by signs or notices
  • there is adequate ventilation to prevent the movement of smoke from the smoking area to nonsmoking areas
  • if possible, the smoking area is in an open and well-ventilated area (if closed, it must be fitted with air purifiers and ventilators)
  • the area must have ashtrays and fire extinguishers
  • in schools up to the twelfth grade, designated smoking areas are accessible only to teachers and school employees

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