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Smoking in Public Places

About the Law (RCW 70.190)

On December 8, 2005, the "Smoking in Public Places" law (RCW 70.160) went into effect, making it illegal to smoke in all indoor public places and workplaces in Washington. Since the law’s implementation, indoor air pollution has decreased by 88 percent in bars and restaurants and compliance with the law is high.


Read the language of the Smoking in Public Places Law on the Washington State Legislature website.

Reporting Smoking in Public

The Benton-Franklin Health District responds to complaints of smoking in public places.  To complete an online report or ask a question online, please see our Online Complaint Form.


In our area, Tobacco Free Benton and Franklin Counties provides tobacco prevention and control programs (such as working to reduce availability of tobacco to minors).  Read more about their education and compliance efforts on the Tobacco Free Benton and Franklin Counties website.

Resources for Your Property or Business

Smoke-free Washington


Washington State Attorney General’s Office

About Initiative 901

On November 8, 2005, Washingtonians passed Initiative 901. The initiative prohibited smoking in all restaurants and bars by amending the state’s 1985 Clean Indoor Air Act. The definition of "public place" included bars, restaurants, bowling centers, skating rinks, and non-tribal casinos. The definition also included private residences used to provide childcare, foster care, adult care, or similar social services, and at least 75 percent of the sleeping quarters within a hotel.

The Initiative also prohibited smoking within 25 feet of entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited.

The initiative went into effect as law on December 8, 2005.  Washington was the tenth state in the country to implement a comprehensive statewide law prohibiting smoking in all restaurants and bars, and the fifth state to have a law that requires 100 percent of indoor workplaces to be smoke-free.

The initiative had widespread support, with all 39 counties in Washington voting in favor of the law. .


Quitting Smoking

When you quit smoking, your body starts repairing right away. (From the American Cancer Society.)

After 20 minutes:

·           Your blood pressure drops to a normal rate for you.

·           The temperature of your hands and feet increases to normal.

After 8 hours:

·           The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

·           The oxygen level in your blood goes up to normal.

After 24 hours:

·           Your chance of a heart attack goes down.

Sources to Help You Quit

Washington State Tobacco Quit Line

The quit line will put you in touch with a quit coach who will help you create your own plan to quit smoking, answer your questions and send you easy-to-follow materials that will help you take control of the quit process.

Washington State Youth Action Site

Provides information on tobacco, ways to get involved, and the latest news and updates on youth prevention.

Washington State Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program

Provides information on the Washington State Department of Health’s tobacco programs, including prevention, cessation and secondhand smoke.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Tobacco Information and Prevention Source

Provides in-depth research results, local and national reports, and tips to quit.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Offers recent news, statistics, and ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from secondhand smoke.



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Benton Franklin Health District
7102 W Okanogan Pl
Kennewick WA
(509) 460 4200
412 W Clark
Pasco WA
(509) 547-9737

Emergency Contact Information

Personal Emergency for Medical, Police, Fire, or Other: 911
Washington Poison Center: 1 (800) 222-1222 (www.wapc.org)
Washington Community Resource Information: 211 (www.win211.org)
BFHD Public Health Emergency/Imminent Health Hazard After-Hours Reporting: 509-543-3851
The public can reference BFHD policies available in Kennewick office.
BFHD Privacy Statement:English / Spanish
Copies of the annual report available at all BFHD offices.
State and County Resources
Rules and Regulations Administered by or Governing the Benton-Franklin Health District
WAC's - RCW's
Community Health Status Indicators
Reportable Conditions
Contact: info(at)bfhd.wa.gov                                                                                                                             Employees