Monday, October 15, 2007

Statewide Smoking Ban

On October 1st, 2007, the Minnesota smoking ban went into effect. This new law bans smoking in all restaurants, bars, and clubs in the entire state. However, the law still allows smoking in hotel rooms designated for smoking, outdoor restaurant patios, and tobacco product shops. The law also doesn’t affect anything on Indian Reservations, so any casino on a Reservation isn’t smoke free.
Minnesota is the 17th state in the U.S. to have a statewide smoking ban. There have been many years of debating this law, and it has finally passed. Many counties in Minnesota already had a smoking ban in effect. Some of the counties don’t even allow smoking within 25 feet of a door to a building, and so therefore, they have designated smoking areas. Although the statewide ban doesn’t have this as a part of the law, counties can make their own decisions on that part.
Kelsey Majerus’s mom, Cindy, is a bartender at WD’s bar in Mazeppa, MN. Cindy has said it is going good, but is kind of hard to get used to. She said that if someone lights a cigarette, she doesn’t even realize that the person needs to go outside until someone says something about it. Cindy said it will take a while to get used to, but not that many people have lit up in the bar since the ban.
I also talked to Katie Lichtblau, who’s sister, Danielle, works in a restaurant in Lake City, MN. Katie said that Danielle has talked about how out of state people don’t know about the ban, and come in to the restaurant and light up. The staff at the restaurant just needs to tell the person to go outside. Danielle also says that people who have had too much to drink also forget and need to be told to go outside. But other than forgetful people, the ban is going good so far.
My personal opinion about the ban is that it is a good law. Just because someone else chooses to smoke, doesn’t mean the people around them should receive the bad affects of the secondhand smoke. I think that this should’ve been in affect a long time ago.

By: Laura Lodermeier

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