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Legislature Introduces Statewide Smoking Ban Proposal

Legislators introduced a statewide smoking ban proposal on Thursday that would extend to both restaurants and bars in Minnesota. The ban would go into effect on August 1st of this year, and would ban such facilities from providing ash trays, matches, or other smoking paraphernalia to customers. Refusal to comply would result in a petty misdemeanor for the smoker, and other charges for the business. Exceptions to the rule would include American Indian ceremonies, and smoking in homes, private cars, hotels, and tobacco stores.

The presentation of this news was very different between the St. Paul Pioneer Press vs. the Star Tribune. In the print version, the Pioneer Press constructed a very brief overview in the form of boxes and bullet points of the exceptions and the pros and cons of the issue. The Star Tribune on the other hand presented the issue in the classic style.

Both takes on presentation were appropriate, but the Pioneer Press' was slightly more effective, in making the issue easy to understand by making it visually appealing as well as simplifying it enough for the general public to understand how the potential passing of this law could greatly impact their lives.

The only challenge I could see was the need to read through legislative documents and extract the important elements that the public will need to know about. Sometimes sifting through language that is potentially unfamiliar can be challenging.