Finally fresh air at bars.
Minnesota joined 17 other states in a statewide smoking ban as of 12:01 a.m. today.
The owners of restaurants, bars and private clubs are the most anxious about the new ban on their businesses.
Many outdoor areas, where smoking is permitted, has been added onto businesses so that customers have a spot to smoke and aren't running to their cars to light up.
"They're doing patios, outdoor facilities to try and make their customers have a spot to have a cigarette so they don't have to get in a car and leave," said Kenn Rockler, of the Minnesota Tavern League.
Thousands of information packets have been handed out to food and beverage establishments by the Minnesota Department of Health and local officials reminding them of the new law.
The law in intended to protect the workers from secondhand smoke through the Minnesota's Freedom to Breathe Act.
"Smoking becomes something you have to interrupt your social activity to do. Because of that, you just cut down more," said Mike Maguire, a spokesman for the Midwest Division of the American Cancer Society. "We expect a pretty smooth transition with just a few bumps." http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1455207.html
In Ohio, more than 13,000 complaints about the smoking ban was reported in the first four months of their statewide ban effect this year. According to one newspaper account, many businesses appeared to be openly violating the law.
However, for smokers, there are a few places they can still light up. Some places include: Cars that are sometimes used for personal use and used for public transportation if the driver says smoking is ok. Guest rooms in hotels and motels, the Veterans Rest Camp in Marine on St. Croix, and the Traditional American Indian ceremonies. http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_7047624
If you witness a business that is breaking the law you may fill out a drafted Compliance Assistance Letter by the state Health Department found on the agency's Web site: www.health.state.mn.us/freedomtobreathe.