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What Businesses Need To Know About The New Smoking Ban - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

What Businesses Need To Know About The New Smoking Ban

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A consumer alert for smokers and business owners. An entire stretch of downtown Fargo could end up being smoke-free.  In 2008 North Dakota made a smoke-free law, and last month voters said they want additions to that law. During this year's election, North Dakotans voted for more protection from secondhand smoke. Fargo Public Health talked about what business owners need to change to obey the re-invented law.

Starting this week Fargo will be enforcing the newly improved smoke-free law. Robyn Litke-Sall with Fargo Cass Public Health says, "Additions that are going to be new or different to us would be first of all the 20-foot rule. And what that provision says is that there is no smoking within 20-feet of an entrance or an opening."

December 6th smokers can't be by any vents or windows as well. Robyn explains that means that almost all of Broadway will be smoke free. Also business owners will be responsible for smokers outside their doorways, and violations of the law means there is fines and penalties.

"Enforcement is actually going to be complaint driven, meaning we are not going to be looking for violations, we're not going to be doing compliance checks anything like that, but once we receive a complaint we plan to follow up with that complaint." Robyn says. People who violate the law will be fined $50 per offense. Businesses will be fined $100 the first time, $200 the second time in that year. The fine will not exceed $500 per offense within a year.

"The overall goal of this new law is health, but some things we can expect to see from it that we will hopefully greatfully be of help to our community is we'll see more people quitting, and we'll see less young people starting." Robyn says.

New additions to the law that will help keep North Dakota healthier.  The state of North Dakota, as well as Fargo Cass Public Health has free quitting services available including counseling and products.

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