Smoking ban goes into effect Oct. 1

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

This Sunday, Sept. 30, will be the last day smoking will be allowed in bars, restaurants and other public places in New Prague and across Minnesota. The state's Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007 goes into effect on Monday, Oct. 1.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the law prohibits smoking in the following places:

• restaurants, bars and private clubs

• offices and industrial workplaces

• home offices with onsite employees or if used as a place to meet customers

• public and private educational facilities

• health care facilities and clinics

• day care premises

• retail stores

• common areas of rental apartments and hotels

• public transportation, including taxis

• work vehicles if more than one person is present.

The purpose of the new law is to improve public health, protect the health of workers in all workplaces, reduce health care costs, create a minimum smoke-free standard across the state and encourage people who smoke to quit.

Local reaction

In New Prague, the effect of the law will be mixed. Some restaurants chose to go smoke-free years before the law was proposed. The most recent local establishment to snuff out cigarettes was Praha Haus Family Restaurant, located at 208 4th Ave. SW, deciding to go smoke-free this past spring.

It was a personal choice

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Phone: 952-758-4435
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