PCA Releases Smoking Environment Acknowledgement Form

The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) in alignment with the association’s efforts to engage in proactive policy development, self-regulatory standards, and the Vision 50 Strategic Plan are committed to releasing new resources to better insulate the industry from regulatory burdens. Anti-tobacco groups have been working to expand the Clean Indoor Air Act to prohibit smoking indoors in all businesses even at cigar lounges, shops, and bars. Usually, this legislation is done under the guise of protecting casino workers from secondhand cigarette smoke but would affect many other small businesses in the premium cigar industry.

We have seen this in states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nevada recently. To help combat the narrative that employees are subject to working in a smoking environment without their consent, the association has developed a template that can be shared with retail employees or included in an employee handbook. Many retailers already are utilizing similar forms, but we wanted to provide a new resource for emerging businesses and members that may not have included this information in the past. 

We have enclosed a template acknowledgment form that you may use to: 

  • (1) confirm that your employees knowingly agree to work in an environment that presents a risk of exposure to secondhand smoke; and 
  • (2) document your employees’ willingness to comply with local, state, and federal laws and company policies related to retailing tobacco products, including verifying that purchasers are at least 21 years old. 

The template form contains several provisions intended to confirm that the signing employees understand that they have willingly agreed to work at an establishment that permits smoking and that they understand and acknowledge that this may expose them to secondhand smoke during the course of their employment. Note that, in preparing the template form, we have not included language intended to waive any employees’ rights related to secondhand exposure to smoke.

The template form also contains several provisions that confirm that the signing employees agree to comply with local, state, and federal laws and company policies related to retailing tobacco products, such as age-verification requirements. Specifically, the template form asks employees to confirm that they understand that tobacco products, including cigars, are age-restricted products and that consumers must be at least 21 years old to purchase these products. The template form also asks employees to agree to participate in all training related to these laws and policies. 

Please note: In providing this template form, the Premium Cigar Association does not provide legal advice. Further, the Premium Cigar Association strongly urges that, before using the template form, members consult their own local counsel to discuss any potential issues under applicable state or local laws, including those governing employment relationships and conditions, that its use might present as well as any modifications necessary for use of the template form in each member’s jurisdiction.

Please let the Premium Cigar Association government affairs team know if you have any questions about this template or other best practices by emailing Joshua Habursky joshua@premiumcigars.org or Glynn Loope glynn@premiumcigars.org.

Download Smoking Environment Acknowledgement Form (Word)