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Nd Smoke-free Law Supporters Celebrate One-year Anniversary

By Expert Author: Bernard Fowler

One year ago citizens of North Dakota voted in favor of a smoke-free law in all work places in the entire state, and while progress has been made, the effort on tobacco prevention continues. Richland County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Mauch said that a year is still considered new for many, so people are still adjusting, Now people must be informed on the subject that smoking is allowed only in specially designated areas.

People engaged in tobacco prevention and control have been sending letters and information to each mayor in different cities to let them know that any public place needs proper signage. Public health units state wide can get signage for those public places in case a city needs them. State health offices discuss with city officials creation of city ordinances that are similar to the state’s law. Mauch said that she plans to meet with the Hankinson, N.D. City Council next week to discuss the issue.

The law passed in November, 2012, was enacted on December 6. Mauch said that the vote on election night showed that North Dakota was ready to become a more smoke-free state. It was an overwhelming majority throughout the state of North Dakota that voted in favor of it, which was really positive. It tells that it was wanted and needed in the state.

North Dakota became the 30th state to enact a serious smoke-free law that includes all restaurants and bars. There are other states that have smoke-free laws that don’t include all of those places. Another difference that is in the North Dakota legislation is the prohibition of electronic cigarettes in those same places.

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