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Where are you allowed to smoke in public in CT?

A new law includes language that provides more specifics but also includes broader restrictions for other smokers including people who use cigarettes and vape

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — Now that the recreational marijuana bill has been signed into law, it will be legal for people 21 and older to possess a limited amount of cannabis on their person starting next Thursday. 

One of the questions people now have: Where exactly are you allowed and not allowed to light up?

The law includes language that provides more specifics but also includes broader restrictions for other smokers as well, including people who use cigarettes and vapes.

Like smoking cigarettes, smoking marijuana would also not be allowed at places like schools, restaurants, bars, retail stores, and public buildings.

However, also under the new law, smoking — whether that be cannabis, cigarettes, or a  vape — is not allowed inside or in the “outside area within twenty-five feet of any doorway, operable window or air intake vent” of those buildings where smoking is not allowed, effective Oct. 1, 2021.

RELATED: Connecticut becomes 19th state to legalize marijuana

“To each his own, I guess. I can understand it. I wouldn’t want to smell cigarettes if I didn’t smoke,” said smoker April Black of Portland who understands the rule, but she also questions how much it will actually be enforced. Black and others smoke outside a coffee shop in Middletown regularly. “I don’t think that’s going to change at all. They’re not going to put a line out there that says the 25-foot rule.”

Over at Cake, Batter & Roll Bakery, owner Lindsey Chartrand is all for a clearer definition of restricted smoking areas, especially with marijuana now in the picture.

“I would think it would have to have a positive impact with the increase in outdoor dining. I think people don’t want to have to experience the smells that are associated with smoking cigarettes or weed,” said Chartrand.

“I think the biggest thing we’re trying to do is communicate to our restaurants is it is up to them beyond the regulation. The 25-feet is a little bit more of an exact measurement,” said Scott Dolch, Executive Director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

Dolch added that he is not anticipating any major setbacks or issues with the new language in place.

“To be honest, most of our restaurants with tobacco smoking have really started to phase that out in the past seven to 10 years anyway. You’ll have an area if you’re a bar type of restaurant. I’ve talked to them already. They’re like, ‘Scott, I have a smokers’ pole, we’ll make sure it’s far enough away from a window or vent.’”

As communities continue to navigate this new law, Gov. Lamont said earlier this week that his administration is planning a detailed briefing on the law and how it affects policing.

RELATED: VIDEO: Car catches fire after driver uses hand sanitizer while smoking a cigarette


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