ND Hospitality Association

PO Box 428 Bismarck, ND 701-223-3313

Smoking Ban FAQ
This document is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney. Q. When does the smoking ban take effect? A. The new statewide smoking ban takes effect on December 6, 2012. Please note that you are likely subject to the signage requirements and other aspects of this law even if your business has never allowed smoking. Q. Is smoking banned everywhere? A. Effectively, smoking is banned in all indoor places of employment. This includes places that have been exempted from bans in the past, such as bars, tobacco and hookah shops, and individual sleeping rooms in hotels. The ban also includes the use of e-cigarettes or other devices that mimic smoking and produce vapor. Q. What do I need to do to comply? A. The law requires you to do several things: 1. Clearly post signage indicating smoking is not allowed in your establishment in the establishment itself. 2. Clearly post no-smoking signs at every entrance to your establishment. 3. Remove all ashtrays from your establishment, “except for ashtrays displayed for sale and not for use on the premises.” 4. By December 6, communicate to all of your employees that smoking is not allowed in your establishment, and communicate this to everyone who applies for a job in your establishment. 5. Under this legislation, vehicles also count as places of employment. If your employees must work in vehicles, those vehicles must have at least one sign visible from the vehicle’s exterior that indicates smoking is prohibited within. 6. The law requires that you direct anyone smoking within your establishment to stop. If they refuse, you are required to refuse service and ask that person to leave. If they refuse, you must notify law enforcement immediately. Q. What about smoking outside? A. Smoking outdoors is still legal, as long as the activity is taking place more than twenty feet from “entrances, exits, operable windows, air intakes, and ventilation systems.” This distance requirement can be disputed with your local public health department or district, NOT with local law enforcement. Q. What about my smoking shelter?

A. The law prohibits smoking in “enclosed areas.” It defines an enclosed area as “all space between a floor and ceiling that has thirty three percent or more bounded by opened or closed walls, windows, or doorways.” It further states that “A wall includes any physical barrier regardless of whether it is open or closed, temporary or permanent, or contains openings of any kind, and includes retractable dividers and garage doors.” So, if your smoking shelter is more than 33% enclosed by anything it is considered “enclosed” and smoking is not allowed. Also, even if it fits the requirement, it must be at least 20 feet from doors or ventilation to your establishment. Q. What is the penalty for violating the law? A. The penalty for an individual smoking in an area where smoking is prohibited is a $50 fine. For a business, any entity that fails to “willfully comply” with the law is subject to a fine of $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation within one year, and $500 for each additional violation within one year. The law also provides for the suspension or revocation “of any permit or license” for the operator of the establishment where the violations occur. This provision is clearly targeted at liquor licenses, but appears to include all other business permits. Q. Where can I get the necessary signage? Do I have to buy it all myself? A. Supporters of this measure have stated both in the media and in testimony before the legislature that they intend to help establishment owners and operators by providing some of the signage required by this measure. Contact your local public health department or district to inquire about signage they provide. Q. Who do I call if I need more information? A. Please feel free to contact the ND Hospitality Association at 701-223-3313 or by visiting www.NDHospitality.com with any questions that you have, and we will do our best to find an answer. For specific questions on how enforcement of the law will work in your local area, please contact your local public health department or district.