There has been some grumbling, but workers in Montgomery County have apparently learned to live -- and labor -- under the county's most recent anti-smoking law.
Enforced since May, the law bans smoking in employee restrooms, company cars and offices with more than two employees unless there is unanimous consent. It requires employers to provide separate enclosed smoking areas or banish the smokers outside.
So far, the county health department, which enforces the regulation, has received about 100 complaints from people who didn't like the way their employers or fellow workers were complying with the law, said Roz Garfinkel, of the health department. In each case, the department has sent a warning letter to the employer explaining the regulation.
Sometimes, the complaints involve employers who don't have enough room for a separate smoking area and try to get around the law by designating certain smoking hours in the company lounge. That just doesn't work, Garfinkel said. "Say you permit smoking there from 10 to 11, and somebody comes in at noon who's allergic to smoke. Well, forget it," she said.
Another common complaint involves a smoker with a private office, where smoking is permitted, but only as long as the door is closed.
"In the great majority of cases, people manage to work it out within the business," Garfinkel said.
Montgomery County officials apparently are not through with their slate of anti-smoking laws. The County Council is looking into possible controls on cigarette vending machines.