The legalization of cannabis will impact a wide range of Connecticut’s population, not just those who use it. With the new regulations, the areas allowed for all forms of smoking will soon be restricted.
Included in the legislation, legalizing cannabis, is the definition of “smoking”. Describing broadly to include a lit cigarette, cigar, pipe, or device that contains cannabis, hemp, and tobacco. With this, any type of smoking will soon be limited to designated areas only.
âI don’t like being surrounded by cigarette smoke or vaping. So from a selfish point of view, I guess I’m happy about it, âsaid Devon Francis of Rocky Hill.
From October 1, smoking of all kinds, including tobacco and vaping, will be banned in many public places. This includes outdoor restaurants and bars. Smoking can only be done 25 feet from any open door or window.
âI think it’s definitely a personal choice, what you put into your body. But I think the aspect of secondhand smoke should be limited for sure, âsaid John Casadei of Salisbury.
Work lounges that were previously reserved for smokers will no longer be legal. Windsor’s Charley Hickey was taking a smoking break from work on Tuesday. Something that might soon be more difficult to do, but he says, he understands.
âI think that’s probably a good thing. Even though I am a smoker, it’s a good thing, âhe said.
As for businesses, like restaurants, they are always adapting, but the Connecticut Restaurant Association does not foresee a major problem.
âRestaurants, even with alfresco dining, have really stopped allowing cigarette smoke,â said Executive Director Scott Dolch.
The Hartford tobacco store has been around since 1920. It’s over a century old, but the business challenge presented today is brand new.
âThe first thing I think of, being selfish, is my customers,â said Gerry Grate, owner of The Tobacco Shop.
The 25 foot distance rule also applies to food and retail stores. This means that smoking tobacco and vaping on public streets near these establishments will also be restricted.
Other places commonly affected are working lounges that were previously reserved for smokers. These will no longer be legal. Smoking will also be banned in prisons or psychiatric establishments.
For many in the business community, these new regulations will mean an adjustment after the regulations have been assessed.
âMy approach will be a wait-and-see approach,â said Grate. âThe law has only one day; we will find out.