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Minnesota Smoking Ban

The state of Minnesota is proposing a statewide smoking ban that will eliminate smoking from all bars and restaurants. The Pioneer Press reports that the bill will be introduced on Thursday, February 1st, and says that the non-smoking advocates are hopeful that the smoking ban will pass this year.

Currently the smoking ban differs from county to county throughout the state. People are allowed to smoke in some bars, and in others they are turned down.

The Star Tribune says that Jerry Bayers, the owner of the Polar Lounge in North St. Paul, estimates that nearly 85 percent of his patrons smoke while at the bar. Bayers said he envisions the smoking ban will send his regulars elsewhere.

The Pioneer Press reports that, if the ban passes, all restaurants and bars will required to post signs forbidding smoking, and anyone who disregards those signs will have to be asked to leave.

I notice that the Star Tribune investigated the way people would be affected by this proposed statewide ban. By understanding the viewpoint of a bar owner, it is easier to see how this ban could affect everybody differently. The Star Tribune's lead to this story was extremely entertaining and informative, as it explains that any of the regulars at the Polar Lounge would respond to the statewide ban relocating where they are allowed to smoke.

The Pioneer Press has a different perspective in its article, as it focuses more on the health aspect of the smoking ban rather than the views of the bar and restaurant owners.