Fargo Cass Public Health (FCPH) would like to remind the public that smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes or any electronic smoking or vaping device, is prohibited by law indoors and within 20 feet of entrances (N.D.C.C. 23-12-9 to 23-12-11).

On November 6, 2012, North Dakotans voted to pass one of the strongest statewide smoke-free laws in the country. The law advances public health by protecting more workers, residents and visitors from secondhand smoke exposure in public places and places of employment. The law went into effect on December 6, 2012. Melissa Markegard, FCPH Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, says, “The ND smoke-free law is not something we can become complacent about. We encourage compliance with the law because it protects workers and the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Smoke-free public places can and have prompted people across North Dakota to quit their tobacco use. If you are ready to take that step, we’re here to help.”

The law states that smoking is prohibited in all enclosed areas of public places and places of employment such as restaurants, bars, truck stops, guest rooms and common areas within hotels and motels, healthcare facilities, long-term care centers, assisted living centers, licensed adult day care facilities, retail tobacco stores, hookah establishments, workplace vehicles, charitable gambling and gaming licensed facilities, and places of public access that may be leased for private functions. Smoking is also prohibited within twenty (20) feet of entrances, exits, operable windows, air intakes and ventilation systems of an establishment in which smoking is prohibited by the law.

Additionally, the law requires businesses to place smoke-free signs at all entrances and exits. Questions regarding the law, including potential violations and requests for signage, should be directed to Fargo Cass Public Health by calling 701.476.4083.

Article provided by Fargo Cass Public Health.