Texas Laws on Smoking in the Workplace

Information on Texas workplace smoking laws, including accommodations for smokers and employer policies on smoking.

Updated by , J.D. · University of Missouri School of Law

What kinds of workplaces are subject to Texas workplace smoking laws?

Texas statutes don't specifically address smoking in private workplaces. Local laws that regulate smoking in public -- at the city, county, or town level -- may also apply to smoking in the workplace in some areas.

And keep in mind that Texas laws may already specifically prohibit smoking in certain types of businesses operated by the employer (such as a hospital or a restaurant). These laws apply to employees as well as patrons or customers of the business.

In Texas, in what parts of the workplace is smoking prohibited? Where is smoking permitted?

Texas laws don't address the specific areas of a workplace where smoking may be prohibited or permitted. Remember that some workplaces might already be subject to Texas or local laws that regulate smoking in public, or smoking in or around certain kinds of businesses.

What are the requirements for designated smoking areas in Texas workplaces?

Texas does not require employers to create designated smoking areas or provide other accommodations for smokers in the workplace.

Does Texas require employers to make accommodations for nonsmokers?

Texas doesn't specifically require employers to provide workplace accommodations for nonsmoker employees.

Does Texas require employers to give smoke breaks?

Texas does not require employers to offer employees smoke breaks.

Are employers required to have a written or oral policy on workplace smoking in Texas?

Texas laws don't address employer policies on smoking in the workplace. Local laws regulating smoking -- at the city, county, or town level -- may require employers to have a policy on smoking in some areas. And even though it's not required by law in Texas, employers are generally free to adopt policies on smoking in the workplace if they choose to.

Does Texas provide employees with protection from smoking-related discrimination?

Texas does not have a law protecting smokers from discrimination, nor does it have a law protecting employees from discipline or discharge based on their off-duty conduct generally.

How far do you have to be away from a building to smoke in Texas?

No state law addresses this topic, however many cities and municipalities have their own rules. For example, in Austin you aren't permitted to smoke within 15 feet of a door or openable window of an enclosed space where smoking is prohibited.

Note that in Texas, any designated smoking areas must be at least 15 feet away from any building entrance.

Where can I find Texas law information on smoking in the workplace?

Texas laws don't currently address smoking in the workplace, but you can find additional information on workplace smoking laws in Nolo's book The Employer's Legal Handbook, by Aaron Hotfelder.

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