North Dakota’s new smoke-free law — passed by over two-thirds of North Dakota voters —takes effect December 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.
Bismarck Burleigh Public Health 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 Bismarck Burleigh Public Health and www.breathend.com.
“We’re extremely pleased that the people of North Dakota voted in favor of smoke-free air,” said Pat McGeary with Bismarck Burleigh Public Health. “This new law is an important step in preventing our youth from starting to smoke.”
For more information about the smoke-free law, contact Bismarck Burleigh Public Health at 355–1597, or the Center for Tobacco Prevention & Control Policy at 1.877.277.5090 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.