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Columbus health department prepares businesses for smoking ban

The Columbus smoking ban goes into effect on Monday. And many bar and restaurant owners still have questions about how the ordinance will affect them. The Columbus Health Department held a seminar today to help business owners understand the new ordinance.

When the smoking ban goes into effect on Monday, bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and other places of business will have to tell their customers they can't light up. Ash trays and other smoking paraphernalia won't be allowed and each business will be required to post a non-smoking sign at the entrance.

If a customer is caught smoking, it's the business that will have to pay a fine. Patrons can complain about smoking violations by calling the health department. There are 2 inspectors assigned to investigate complaints. Business owners will get a warning letter after the first violation. A second violation could lead to a $150 fine.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.