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ND Smoke-free Law Takes Effect Dec. 6

December 6, 2012

Special to the Times-Record

North Dakota’s new smoke-free law, passed by more than two-thirds of North Dakota voters, will take effect on Dec. 6. The new law strengthens North Dakota’s existing smoke-free law by making all public places smoke free.

The new law, initiated by an independent grassroots organization known as Smoke-free North Dakota, will protect everyone from exposure to secondhand smoke in all enclosed public places and places of employment, including restaurants, bars, truck stops, guest rooms and common areas within hotels and motels, health care facilities, long-term and assisted living centers, and licensed adult day care facilities. In addition, smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of entrances, exits, operable windows, air intakes and ventilation systems attached to enclosed public places and places of employment. The use of electronic cigarettes is also prohibited in areas where smoking is not allowed.

According to the 2012 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, smoke-free policies combined with a comprehensive prevention approach are effective in preventing youth and young adults from starting to smoke. A comprehensive approach should also include tobacco-free school campuses, mass media educational campaigns and tobacco price increases.

City-County Health District (CCHD)and the ND Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (the Center) will be providing educational resources to the public and businesses to assist with the transition into the smoke-free law. Resource information will be available at CCHD and www.breathend.com.

“When the people of North Dakota voted in favor of smoke-free air last month, they took an important step in preventing our youth from starting to use tobacco,” said Vicki Voldal Rosenau, tobacco prevention coordinator at CCHD.  Voldal-Rosenau said that CCHD will work with local business owners to help make implementation of the new law go smoothly. 

For more information about the smoke-free law, contact CCHD at 845-8518, or the Center for Tobacco Prevention & Control Policy at 1-877-277-5090 or info@breathend.com.

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