2013-04-25 / Top News

North Dakota smoke-free law requires signs to be posted

North Dakota’s new smoke-free law requires that all enclosed public places and places of employment must post smoke-free signs. That includes 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.

To assist the public and businesses with the transition into the smoke-free law, Emmons County Public Health has educational resources and complementary signageavailableforlocalbusiness. Inaddition,downloadable signage templates and educational resources are available at www.breathend.com.

Bev Voller, RN Emmons County Public Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, said signs are necessary to inform the public of the smoke-free law and let them know where it is, and is not, acceptable to smoke tobacco. The Health Unit will work with local business owners to make sure implementation of the new law goes smoothly.

Signage is currently available from city auditors in Linton, Strasburg and Hazelton. Please contact the auditors for signs or Emmons County Public Health at (701) 254-4027.

“We’re extremely pleased that the people of North Dakota chose health by voting in favor of smoke-free air,” Voller said. “This new law is an important step in preventing our youth from starting to use tobacco because it changes social norms of tobacco use, and motivates current users to quit.”

Voller said when kids are not exposed to tobacco use, they are less likely to be tobacco users themselves.

The fine for not complying with the law by an owner, manager or person of general supervisory responsibility of an establishment is not to exceed $100 for the first violation, not to exceed $200 for a second violation within one year, and not to exceed $500 for each additional violation within one year of the preceding violation.

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.

For more information about the smoke-free law, contact Emmons County Public Health at (701) 254-4027 or the Center for Tobacco Prevention & Control Policy at 1-877-277-5090 or info@breathend.com.

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