Smoke-free Policies

The Health Department supports efforts to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke via smoke-free policies at businesses, schools and other organizations.


Kenton County Law

In Northern Kentucky, most Kenton County businesses and workplaces are smoke-free under an ordinance passed by the county’s fiscal court. It prohibits smoking in public buildings, establishments in public buildings and places of employment.

The law does allow for some private clubs and drinking establishments to file for an exemption, provided that they meet certain criteria.  Drinking establishments and private clubs must file a claim of exemption in order to be exempt from the Kenton County Smoking Ordinance.   If you operate a business in Kenton County and would like to apply for an exemption, please contact the Health Department or 859-341-4151.

Kenton County establishments that have filed for and received exemptions from the Kenton County Smoke-free workplaces ordinance can be viewed here.

If you feel a business is in violation of the law, you can file a complaint.

Smoke-free restaurants

Unless they meet the requirements for exemption, Kenton County venues are smoke-free per the county ordinance.

Many establishments in Boone, Campbell and Grant Counties are also smoke-free.

If you have questions about smoke-free restaurants, contact the Health Department.


Williamstown, Ky., Law (Grant County)

On Sept. 18, 2018, the Williamstown City Council passed ordinance number 2018-08 into law, prohibiting smoking in any public building, establishments in public buildings and places of employment.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2019 smoking is completely prohibited indoors in any Williamstown building or place of employment where the public is invited or permitted. In addition, smoking is further prohibited within a reasonable distance (25 feet) of all entrances, windows that operate and ventilation systems.

The only exceptions are for private clubs. Private clubs are not exempt when being used for a function to which the general public is invited. The new law does not apply to private homes unless used as a licensed childcare, adult day care or health care facility.


  • All businesses covered by the ordinance are required to post “No Smoking” signs. Signs meeting the requirement of the ordinance must say “No Smoking” in letters one-inch high or show the international no smoking symbol, which is three inches high. Call 859-341-4264 to request what signs say or print out here.
  • All businesses covered by the law need to remove all ashtrays from any area where smoking is prohibited. Any permanent structure that functioned as an ashtray needs to be disabled or altered to prevent its use as an ashtray.
  • The Health Department will enforce the law and investigate complaints as they are received. Although most smoke-free laws are self-enforcing, occasionally compliance with the law becomes an issue. If so, enforcement shall be by citation Peace officers may also issue a citation for violations committed in their presence.
  • Any establishment, employer, or employee in violation of this subchapter and persons who smoke can be cited for violating the law.

Filing a complaint

If you feel a business is in violation of the law, you can file a complaint with the Health Department or call 859-341-4151.

Support for Smoke-free Policy

The Health Department provides support to Northern Kentucky organizations such as schools, municipalities, and businesses that wish to implement tobacco-free policies. For more information, contact Elizabeth Bishop or 859-363-2082.

Smoking cessation

Information on local programs to help you quit smoking,