updated 7/5/2004 10:10:05 AM ET 2004-07-05T14:10:05

A statewide indoor smoking ban covering work places, bars and restaurants went into effect Monday throughout Massachusetts, and public health officials said they plan to aggressively pursue violators.

Smokers face a $100 fine for each violation, and business owners who allow smoking in their establishment face fines of up to $300.

Ian Lang, chief of staff of the state Department of Public Health, said he expected 95 percent voluntary compliance by Labor Day.

“We consider this a tremendous victory for the health of workers,” Lang said of the new law. “This is a tremendous step forward.”

Massachusetts joins five other states — New York, Connecticut, Maine, Delaware and California — with statewide bans.

The ban, enacted by the Legislature earlier this year and signed June 18 by Gov. Mitt Romney, prohibits smoking in all workplaces, restaurants and bars in the state. Private clubs and cigar bars are exempt.

Workplace smoking bans already had been adopted in about 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts, including Boston.

Some people started going to bars in Quincy after Boston and other surrounding towns banned smoking, but Jim March, manager at The Fours in Quincy, said he expected that will change now the ban covers the whole state.

“The smokers will go back to the places they used to go,” he said.

One smoker, Robert Buckmann, 42, told the Boston Herald he agreed with the new law.

“A lot of people are getting tired of secondhand smoke,” he said. “The bars won’t be smelling like smoke all the time.”


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