Is Smoking Cigarettes Illegal, Even if It’s Allowed? What About E-Cigs?

 There’s no question that smoking cigarettes is on the decline – and everyone agrees that’s probably a good thing. Smoking is unhealthy. It just is.

But the fact remains, smoking cigarettes is not illegal. Cigarettes are still widely sold and—even if rates are down—still widely smoked. Smoking is not illegal.

But the smoke might be. In Utah, “tobacco smoke that drifts into any residential unit… from another residential… unit” can be a nuisance.

So what’s a nuisance? Utah defines a nuisance as “anything which is injurious to health, indecent, offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.” And all you E-Cig users or Vapers, or whatever you want to be called? This means you, too. The rule is drafted to define “Lighted Tobacco” as “both tobacco that is under self sustained combustion and tobacco that is heated to a point of smoking or vaporizing.” R392-510-2.

So even if your apartment allows you to smoke cigarettes inside, if that smoke drifts into your neighbor’s home and offends their senses, it may constitute a nuisance. It may.

Under the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act, where smoking is permitted, it’s up to the “building owner, agent, or operator” to “maintain and operate” an approved HVAC system equipped to handle and ventilate cigarette smoke. R392-510-8.

So is it your fault for smoking where smoking is allowed if it offends the senses of someone nearby? If you’ve found yourself the subject of a nuisance action, that’s a question a qualified attorney can help you to answer. And just to say what needs to be said: Quit smoking. You’ll live longer and so will your neighbors.

Michael Hepworth

Michael Hepworth

Managing Attorney at Hepworth & Associates
Michael is the Managing Attorney of Hepworth & Associates, LLC.
Michael Hepworth

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