Smoking ban petitions to be submitted

2012-08-01T15:38:00Z Smoking ban petitions to be submittedBy NICK SMITH | Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

A committee that is pushing for a statewide indoor smoking ban says it has collected the necessary signatures to have the matter placed on the November ballot.

Members of the Smoke Free North Dakota committee plan on turning in signatures at the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office at 9:40 a.m. Thursday. At 10 a.m. the group will hold a press conference in the judicial wing atrium of the state Capitol to discuss the ballot measure. The group needed to have at least 13,452 signatures.

The proposed ballot measure would ban smoking in all indoor public places, places of employment and public transportation such as taxis. It also would bar people from using electronic cigarettes in public places and require people outdoors to be at least 20 feet from entrances and exits to smoke.

The Smoke Free North Dakota committee launched its signature gathering campaign in June. Once submitted, the secretary of state’s office will need to certify that there are enough legitimate signatures on the petitions for the measure to be placed on the ballot.

Reach Nick Smith at 250-8255 or 223-8482 or at

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(36) Comments

  1. Swker1618
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    Swker1618 - August 16, 2012 10:25 am
    Smokefree laws ensure that everyone has equal protection from secondhand smoke in the workplace. This is not an issue of business rights, it's a HEALTH issue. Not all people, especially in small towns, have many options for places to work, why should they have to breathe in second hand smoke when all they want to do is keep their job? Why should customers have to leave a bar they love when all they want to do is breathe safely? People have a right to smoke, just not in a way that harms others, THAT is the priority of governement, to protect the health and safety of its citizens, especially from a known health hazard, which is the # 1 cause of death and disease in our country. Besides, this is not a government issued decision, it's a VOTE OF THE PEOPLE, brought forth by the people . ... so let’s let the people decide in Novemeber.
  2. gunnut
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    gunnut - August 07, 2012 7:37 pm
    This law should be ammended if passed to stop all funding to these anti smoking organizations. When all public smoking is banned they no longer have a reason to exist.
  3. Artist1
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    Artist1 - August 03, 2012 3:31 am
    Thank you Mandan gal! I appreciate the "pat-on-the-back"! To answer a statement above about seeing someone enjoying a cig and really wishing I was having one too...SO not true dear! I can't believe I was ever that unhealthy, unwise. I do agree, that yes former smokers are the worst critics. And Mandan, if you are a smoker, I will NOT judge you, been there, done that. Nice post Mandan gal:)
  4. librabritty
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    librabritty - August 02, 2012 7:36 pm
    i completely agree with you - i have never seen a petition on this anywhere and i live in bis/man
  5. NVIIA
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    NVIIA - August 02, 2012 6:47 pm
    Do you really want the answer to your question? They'll go after you on your health care. You will be forced to pay a higher deductible because of the self destructive habit of pleasure you enjoy.

    I'm not a heavy smoker anymore, but I do indulge in around 4 or 5 a day.
  6. mdngal
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    mdngal - August 02, 2012 4:48 pm
    I agree that allergy sufferers are exposed to lots of things that can trigger it. I have to avoid the laundry soap aisles in stores, and walk further away from bath and body stores, and if I get in an elevator with someone who has slathered in perfume I immediately start coughing. If the neighbor has his lawn chemically treated it sends an offensive odor to my lawn. . Can't be good for me. I am giong to wager that many people have chemically treated hair, salon nails, and other unnecessary things but put up with the smell to have what they want. Yet they leave those smelly salons and then make a face at someone smoking OUTSIDE. . Where does this all end?
  7. mdngal
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    mdngal - August 02, 2012 4:32 pm
    Well, that can be said for a lot of things, including dangerous food and liquid mind-altering chemicals, as well. Not everyone who is a non-smoker is perfect, or haven't you noticed that? And Artist, good for you for choosing not to smoke anymore. I admire people who have done that. But do remember that it was your choice to smoke way back when and your choice not to smoke now. I find that those who used to smoke (see Sgt Mee above) and don't anymore are quite condescending toward smokers. I think that might be because they really wish they could still smoke and don't want to see anyone enjoy it because they don't anymore. I see this a lot in my family and friends who quit. They want everyone to be as miserable as they still are sometimes when they get a craving, which still happens now and then. You were allowed the choices all along the way but you can't expect everyone to quit because you did. I know you didn't consider yourself the scum of society when you were smoking, and those that are still smoking aren't the scum of society, either. But that's the message I see a lot. And still, no one has come up with statistics as to the percentage of non-smoking places to smoking places. Surely those really aware of this have those numbers. Where can't a non-smoker go these days? So, again, good for you, Artist!, I know it isn't easy and it takes a lot of work and desire and I do admire the choice you made.
  8. mdngal
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    mdngal - August 02, 2012 4:10 pm
    It's too bad the bars didn't work something out, one become non-smoking. There's always different circumstances in different places. I would guess that if this passes and you can go play darts, you will be playing with several who will be outside smoking a lot.
  9. Myzteri
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    Myzteri - August 02, 2012 3:18 pm
    Smoking is bad - true, no argument. People know it's bad and continue to do so. BUT it's not the government's right to control business owners and citizens when no one is hurting anyone else. Tons of people who never smoked nor were around smoke still get all forms of cancer, etc. Furthermore, obesity and obesity related diseases kill as many if not more citizens than smoking does and I see no reason to ban super sized meals at fast food places - people will order double everything. LOL We all make our own choices, good or bad. Government shouldn't have control of everything.
  10. dbrulz
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    dbrulz - August 02, 2012 2:13 pm
    They won't go as far as saying you can't smoke in your car or in your house....YET. They'll first go after smoking ANYWHERE in public. So you won't even get to smoke outside the bar even. Why do you think they are also including E-Cigs? Because they just don't want the view of a cigarette anywhere in public. They are a disgusting human right crushing organization.
  11. Donkephant
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    Donkephant - August 02, 2012 2:08 pm
    I don't understand some peoples prejudice towards smokers. They act as if smoking automatically makes you a bad human being.
  12. riffraff
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    riffraff - August 02, 2012 1:59 pm
  13. Under The Wood
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    Under The Wood - August 02, 2012 1:44 pm
    This just makes me laugh. The idiodicy of it all really. Let me ask this question: If the statewide smoking ban goes into effect, what are the Smoking Coalition going to do then? What will be their next agenda? It will be a cold day in Hell before someone tells me that I cannot smoke in my own home or on my own property, or even in my own vehicle.
  14. Real World
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    Real World - August 02, 2012 12:12 pm
    I have to agree, we may not like the outcome but it is easier to except if the majority voted for it. I do think it will pass, and the tabacco groups already have the largest cities smoke-free, this will give them an advantage in passing this bill. I will say again, today it is smoking and tomorrow it will be something else they try to take away. Just look at New York, now they are targeting baby formula.

    Voters take note:
  15. akasha
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    akasha - August 02, 2012 10:45 am
    Im glad this is going to be on the ballot. Let the people decide. That is as american as it can get. We are a democracy and majority rules. Not everyone wins, but its the way it works. If you feel so strongly one way or another on this issue, than be certain to get out and vote! I am positive this will be a very close one, so every vote will count. Usually a very small portion of the population actually votes, so seriously, if you care enough to get this upset here, please vote whatever your opinion is.
  16. graciecat
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    graciecat - August 02, 2012 10:35 am
    I live and Bismarck and I am a smoker that has adjusted nicely to the ban here. (except for freezing my tushy off in the winter) However I hate to see this law pass state wide. First and formost because of the rights of the business owners. second for my right to choose. I know this will pass...even though the smokers came out in full force to sign against the ban in Bismarck they did not show up at the polls. This will happen again in November...wait and see.
  17. dbrulz
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    dbrulz - August 02, 2012 10:10 am
    Ah yes...another law that will be put in effect by a bunch of elderly people that don't work anymore or contribute to the businesses that currently allow smoking. Pathetic. If you don't like the smoke...YOU go outside.
  18. WLanger
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    WLanger - August 02, 2012 10:03 am
    We can thank Heidi Heitkamp for the millions that have to be spent on anti-smoking ads. Just another example of how she likes to waste taxpayer money.
  19. riffraff
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    riffraff - August 02, 2012 9:24 am
  20. riffraff
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    riffraff - August 02, 2012 9:23 am
    what kind of cheese would u like with that...maybe U need a bubble to live in
  21. Dickinson Midget
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    Dickinson Midget - August 02, 2012 8:45 am
    I think business owners need to remember that the government built their business and therefor the government should have control. Obama's recently shared his wisdom, see below:

    "Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

    Read more:
  22. wgwgwg
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    wgwgwg - August 02, 2012 8:15 am
    Did anyone commenting here sign, or even see, the petitions? What's interesting to me is that you see news about these petition drives all the time but am never asked to sign one. I've been asked twice in my 48 years of life to sign petitions -- once at the Bismarck K-mart back in the late 1980s, (and at the time I wasn't a ND resident); and once in the mid-1990s when living in another state. Do these gathering signatures go door to door, go to the mall, where? I'm really curious.
  23. Inquiring mind
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    Inquiring mind - August 02, 2012 8:10 am
    Unfortunetly not all of us are fortunate enough to live in Bismarck or Fargo or a town that is smoke-free - some of us live in smaller, rural communities, The town I live in has two bars and smoking is allowed in both - my only choice is stay home. I don't mind sitting outside at home to have a cold beer now and then or having friends over. I do really like to play darts and used to play on a league, but the smoke was horrible in those smaller bars and not enough ventilation and it got to the point it made me physically sick. So...goodbye darts, goodbye sitting with friends and maybe shooting a game of pool. So you see there, mdngal, we don't all have lots of "choices" just because you do.
  24. jimwalsh2001
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    jimwalsh2001 - August 02, 2012 6:26 am
    It's so nice to hear from so many altruistic citizens in ND! Obviously we are all concerned with saving lives. That's what this whole debate is about, right, saving lives. Because we all know that smoking kills more people in ND than drink drivers or Drugs (you know those new synthetic chemical kinds), Right. We have a number of epidemics in ND and smoking is the last on the list. Let's focus on getting the Drugs and Drunk drivers off our streets. That will save more live than a ban on smoking.
  25. Sgt Mee
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    Sgt Mee - August 02, 2012 5:56 am
    Whining mean like you are doing right now? Some people are allergic to smoke, some have severe asthma and the smoke effects them. So tell me....should I have to walk through YOUR smoke outside so that I can go into someplace and eat or how about my son, should he have to walk through YOUR smoke 10 feet from the door outside and then have to use an inhaler......only time he would need to use it just for WALKING! Stop your whining and think about others instead of just yourself, I smoked 1.5 packs a day for 18 years and I personally can't stand the smell of smoke anymore but even when I did smoke....I ALWAYS went away from the non-smokers...even in the bars.
  26. Artist1
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    Artist1 - August 02, 2012 1:06 am
    Thank you, WeThePeople.
  27. riffraff
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    riffraff - August 02, 2012 12:59 am
    I forgot..those adds on smoking are really having a impact to curb teen smoking..good job.......
  28. riffraff
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    riffraff - August 02, 2012 12:57 am
    are they going to draw some lines so a person knows how far 20 feet is from each door i hate carry around a take measure make me look like a carpenter or something..i wouldn't want to break any childish laws...GOD forbid.....i kinda like the 20 feet i tried 10ft and somehow my smoke seemed to make it in the building then i had to listen to a bunch of whining adults..nothing worse...
  29. Artist1
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    Artist1 - August 02, 2012 12:47 am
    Good. If people want to smoke, let them smoke outside. And yes....I am a former smoker! I smoked a pack a day for 20 years one month and one day! I have been smoke free for 9 years and always buy myself something special on my "quit day".That is how I know when I started. I do understand the emotional attachment as well. The best advice I can give is learn how I did..little by little, and that the instructors told us that the best success rate they found was when smokers chose two non-smoking aides to quit instead of just one. Each of the Bismarck Hospitals offer a free course to help you quit. Each offer a free choice of a non-smoking aide to help you. I feel blessed I took a look in the mirror and said I deserve a better health. The programs are free and are inspiring. I am proud to say I am going on 9 years! I will never smoke again. I am grateful for the hospital's programs that helped me. I am forever thankful.
  30. WeThePeople
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    WeThePeople - August 02, 2012 12:17 am
    Anyone who smokes is in the social minority and are also weak-willed and addicted to a filthy dangerous drug.

    Mdngal, I suspect that shoe fits you.
  31. mdngal
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    mdngal - August 01, 2012 10:54 pm
    Can anyone give a solid statistic on how many smoking places there are as opposed to non-smoking? How many smoking bars were there as opposed to non-smoking bars prior to the last big movement? How many hotels had smoking rooms only? Were there plenty of choices for the non-smoker as far as bars, restaurants, hotel rooms, etc. that did not have smoking? Let's say 80% of the bars were non-smoking, and there's 80% of people who don't smoke. Now they want 100% non-smoking and, like it or not, not 100% are non-smokers. Doesn't this seem to be a form of bullying? In the past few years non-smokers have or have had far more choices than the smoker. Is that not enough? How "deer in the headlight" are these people that they don't know enough to stay away from smoking estabishments?
  32. librabritty
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    librabritty - August 01, 2012 9:35 pm
    no mike from mandan - YOU GET REAL!! I too worked for a manufacturer here in Mandan where almost everyone smoked and those that didn't still sat in the break room - this was before the no smoking in businesses was adopted.....when the no smoking in businesses was adopted all of us smokers had 2 choices - enjoy our break with the other people we work with that don't smoke or go outside and know what - we went outside to smoke and the non smokers came outside with us to enjoy their break I as a smoker have been on both sides and you know what - you as a smoker should be outside smoking.......i mean really grow up - u made the choice to smoke they didn't
  33. mike from mandan
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    mike from mandan - August 01, 2012 9:13 pm
    I work in a manufacturing plant here in Mandan, we have 26 employees, all but two smoke, use tobacco products, E cigs etc. during our breaks or at lunch. That includes management, sales, production, delivery people, the works. The two that don't smoke find the door, go outside, browse around the plant, or whatever. So, you social engineers want us 24 tobacco users go outside to have a smoke or a chew and leave our break room so we don't inflict our so called "second hand smoke" on the two individuals that are non users? LOL, get real!!
  34. NoFilter
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    NoFilter - August 01, 2012 6:34 pm
    And you should brush up on your reading skills. I never said it was against the law for the government to enact such a law. I just believed that they shouldn't be able to. And yes, you can get electronic cigarettes with just the water vapor. In trying to quit smoking, I regularly switch between the lowest available nicotine and the non nicotine cartridges. I believe there may also be glycerol in the non nicotine cartridges, but I have also just refilled my own with just tap water.
  35. sehr windig
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    sehr windig - August 01, 2012 5:59 pm
    If electronic cigarettes were just water vapor and no nicotine I doubt anyone would pay the prices I've seen for them...

    And you should brush up on your knowledge of basic law...a government CAN tell a business what they can and cannot do, assuming there is a legitimate reason in the interest of public good (you know- health codes, fire codes, electrical codes, plumbing codes...)
  36. NoFilter
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    NoFilter - August 01, 2012 4:34 pm
    Anyone know why they would want to ban electronic cigarettes? Can they seriously ban water vapor?
    On a larger note, I still do not agree with the state wide smoking ban. Should you, as a business owner not have the right to run an establishment they way you choose? I do understand the ban of smoking in public areas(outside, at events, etc.) But bars and such should have a choice on whether they choose to have smoking in their establishment. There are alternative bars for people who do not wish to smoke, to choose from.
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