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Published August 08, 2010, 10:08 PM

Smoking Ban Starts August 15th

It's exactly one week until the new smoking ban takes affect in Grand Forks.

Next Sunday all workplaces must go smoke-free in the city.

Grand Forks City Council members will be talking about enforcement of the ban this week and bar owners are just getting ready for the change.

Say goodbye to smoky bars in Grand Forks...

"We do have a concern for the business people but yet if you look at the health issues overall, I think it's better for business in the long run." Grand Forks City Council member Curt Kreun said.

As of August 15th the smoking ban takes effect...and some business owners say they have heard a lot of positive things from people.

"I've heard a lot of people say that they're really looking forward to it, they're excited about their clothes not smelling like smoke as much and even smokers. They don't see it as being a big deal or problem." Joe Black's Bar Co-Owner Joe Schneider said.

Grand Forks City Council members say enforcement will be discussed this week and for a first violation, they'll probably take it easy on people.

"More than likely it's going to be a warning at that level, and then if we have to, it will come to a point of a fine just like all the other ordinances in the city." Kreun said.

And business owners say the warning is a good idea because at first the ban may be a little hard to enforce at times.

"How they're doing it I think is right is that the honest of that comes on the individual and the bar can only do so much, if someone is hiding one or sneaking one in the bathroom or too close to an entrance or whatever. I mean we have other things to monitor." Schneider said.

And although there has been a lot of positive feedback about the ban, bar owners say some changes may have to be made in the future.

"There might be some things we have to do to try and accommodate the smoker whether it's things to do outside for them, whether it's a patio, something to heat them or some type of cover." Schneider said.

Accommodating everyone, so each person can enjoy their night out.

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