Regulations, Laws & Policies

Tobacco Prevention

Laws are used to regulate tobacco and vaping products and if you are a retailer or a business owner, some or all of the laws may pertain to you. Regulations are put in place for health and safety of all citizens.


Laws and policies are continuously being changed to address new health threats posed by tobacco and vaping. Each level of jurisdiction has its own laws and policies—from local to state to federal. Spokane Regional Health District works with many local and state partners to keep local public health concerns at the forefront of regulations and to educate retailers and business owners about laws that pertain to them.


Spokane Regional Health District enforces local laws pertaining to where people can smoke and use vaping devices.

Smoking in Public Places Law (SIPP)

Since 2005 RCW 70.160 has been protecting employees, visitors, patrons and others from second hand smoke by prohibiting smoking in all public places and places of employment. Owners and persons in charge are responsible for ensuring no employees, clients or patrons are smoking indoors or within 25 feet of any door, exit, window that opens or ventilation intake. Owners must also post “No Smoking Signs” on all entrances to the business.

Information for businesses:

Spokane Regional Health District Resolution #16-01 Regarding Vaping Devices (Effective July 1, 2016)

On April 28, 2016 the Spokane Regional Health District’s Board of Health passed a Resolution to enforce the use of vaping devices in the same way it enforces smoking. This resolution applies to public places and places of employment within Spokane County. The Smoking in Public Places Law (RCW 70.160) and the Resolution requires that in public places and in places of employment businesses do the following:

  • Prohibit vaping and smoking in public places. Vaping or smoking any combustible product that produces vapor or smoke (including but not limited to tobacco, cigar, hookah, marijuana, and vaping devices) is not allowed in public places. Public places include bars, restaurants, bowling centers, skating rinks, and non-tribal casinos. The definition also includes 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.
  • Prohibit vaping and smoking in places of employment. This includes patios and other outdoor seating and dining areas that employees are required to service or clean.
  • Prohibit vaping and smoking within 25ft of entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve the enclosed area where smoking is prohibited. Businesses or building managers are responsible for enforcing this provision on their property or property under their control particularly with regard to employee smoking. If vaping or smoking occurs within 25 ft. on property that is not under the control of the business (i.e. public sidewalks) then local law enforcement agencies are responsible for enforcement. People passing by or through a public place while on a public place or public right of way are not considered to have intentionally violated this provision.

Report a Violation

Spokane Regional Health District is responsible for the enforcement of the law. The health district enforces SIPP by conducting random inspections and by responding to complaints from the public. When a violation is witnessed, business owners may receive warnings, civil fines, and re-inspection fees for each return visit. To report a violation, please call 509.232.1707


Washington State Liquor Cannabis Board is the lead regulatory agency regarding statewide tobacco and vaping sales. To learn more about the laws in Washington state please visit its website.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has federal oversight for laws, policies, and regulations of the vaping industry nationally. To learn more about federal laws and regulations please visit its website.

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