Yesterday was the first day of smoke free North Dakota. Under the new North Dakota law, all public establishments must be smoke free. Like many new laws, this ban came with some controversy as business owners, specifically bar owners, were concerned that the ban may negatively affect their business. It is a worthy argument as a large group of clientele chooses to smoke while in their favorite bar, but I honestly believe that this new law should be viewed as a positive. We all know that smoking is inherently bad for you and when someone who does, or does not smoke, is in the smoky atmosphere they are inhaling massive amounts of second-hand smoke. There was a recent story on KUMV news that featured a local doctor who explained that during an 8 hour shift in a smoking establishment, an employee can inhale 2 ½ packs worth of second-hand smoke! Wow, talk about a bad job. Smoking is your choice, no doubt about it, but the general public should not be forced to inhale smoke when in a public atmosphere. I honestly do not think people are going to stop going to their favorite bar or restaurant because of the smoking ban. If anything, some business owners may see an increase in sales due to new customers who previously did not want to enter the once smoky establishment.
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