- The smoking ban went into effect yesterday/today. This includes offices, apartment building lobbies and restaurant dining rooms.Taverns, nightclubs and bar areas of restaurants have until Jan. 2007 The law provides a permanent exemption for outdoor areas of bars and restaurants, cigar bars, hotel rooms, retail tobacco outlets, theatrical productions and facilities that conduct medical research on the effects of smoking.Anyone who thinks the law is not being followed can file a complaint by calling the DC Health Department at 202-671-5000. The department will conduct inspections to ensure compliance with the ban and issue warnings, then fines, for violations. The maximum penalty for a violation is $1,000.Erin10th
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