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New smoking ban

Original article appeared on startribune.com on Sunday, Sep. 30, 2007. Written by Mark Brunswick.

As of 12:01 a.m. Sunday, the smoking ban has gone statewide. For the last couple of years no smoking has been allowed in restaurants in Hennepin County, but now, no smoking will be allowed in restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, or any other public facility for the entire state of Minnesota.

It is not a huge fine for individuals if you do break the law and smoke in one of the restricted places. But it will cost you up to $300. However, if a private business chooses to allow smoking in these areas, then they can be fined up to $10,000. Also, they must place "No Smoking" signs outside of restaurants and other places where it is not allowed.

Smoking is still allowed in outdoor areas and in casinos. But, indevidual cities are allowed to make no smoking ordances for themselves.

Minnesota is not the only state to issue a state-wide no smoking ban. Washington D.C, Puerto Rico, and 22 other states also have laws on smoking.