Rod Driver

Excerpts from the Warwick Beacon, July 12, 1990

New law requires posting of smoking places

If you don't see a no-smoking sign, is it OK to smoke?

It may be now, but it won't be after December 31.

A bill which passed the R.I. General Assembly during the final hours of the session last Friday night will reverse the usual assumption about smoking areas.

The bill (90-H 9172), introduced by Rep. Rodney Driver and now awaiting Governor DiPrete's signature, will require that signs be posted in the smoking areas of "public places" if there are such areas.

The present law on smoking in public places (R.1.G.L. 23-20.6) calls for signs to be posted in no-smoking areas. "This has led to the public perception that any place which is not posted is a smoking area" Driver said, "and that leaves the majority of the public-the non smokers-with little protection for their right to breath clean air."

"In a restaurant, my family and I have sometimes been given a table adjacent to smokers and toll that our table was a no-smoking table," Driver said. "It will be difficult for a restaurant operator to abuse the law so blatantly when he or she must mark the smoking areas in advance."