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Published March 02, 2012, 09:23 PM

Grafton Bar Goes Smoke-free

GRAFTON, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A Grafton bar is making the move to go smoke-free. The Extra End bar owner John Aasand believes there is a place for a smoke-free bar in town, despite other bars which have tried it in the past and failed.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

GRAFTON, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A Grafton bar is making the move to go smoke-free. The Extra End bar owner John Aasand believes there is a place for a smoke-free bar in town, despite other bars which have tried it in the past and failed.

Bar patrons that walk into the Extra End this weekend will notice something is missing.

"This morning when I walked into the bar, I was like 'something's wrong here.' I'm like 'what happened?' And I realized there were no ash trays on the table," Aasand said.

Aasand made the decision to go smoke free March 1. He isn't making history as it's been done in town before. But each time over the past two decades, those bars didn't last, so it's a little scary for Aasand.

"If we were going to be wrong we couldn't go back. It's kind of like raising your prices, and then nobody comes in. And then you go back," Aasand said.

The city of Grafton has talked about creating an ordinance that would require all bars to go smoke-free. But nothing materialized. At that time Aasand remained neutral on the issue.

"I believe in smoking rights, so I was kind of on the fence post. But it got me and my wife to thinking about going smoke free," Aasand said.

Aasand himself gave up smoking 25 years ago and says most of his customers are non-smokers, so it's not surprising reaction has so far been positive.

"It was kind of interesting walking in her there were 35 people in my bar. And 30 of them were women. And they were spending money," Aasand said.

Rodney Ellefson: I absolutely love it because I have never smoke in my life. So I'm all for it. "

So will a smoke-free bar survive in Grafton this time around? Most here guess yes, simply because times have changed.

"Had a few hugs last night, and congratulations. And I hope I keeps working," Aasand said.

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