Emily Miller, Grand Forks, letter: Crack down on smoking near doorsI support Grand Forks’ smoke-free policy and would like to see all parts of the ban enforced.
By: Emily Miller,
GRAND FORKS — I support Grand Forks’ smoke-free policy and would like to see all parts of the ban enforced.
For example, the ban states that smokers must be at least 15 feet from the entrance of a business. Violators can be fined $100 for their first violation and up to $500 for their second.
Basically, while the smoke-free policy has made some positive changes for Grand Forks on the inside of the city’s bars, it doesn’t seem to be being enforced on the outside. I have seen people smoking while standing directly outside of the bars, but the police officers monitoring the bars do nothing.
As a nursing student, I have seen the consequences of first-hand and second-hand smoke in multiple clinical experiences. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more deaths are caused by tobacco use each year than are caused by HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle accidents, suicides and murders combined.
That’s 50,000 preventable deaths, and implementing the smoking ban is one step Grand Forks is taking to decrease that death rate.
It has been nice not to move through a thick haze in local bars and to leave without smelling like an ash tray. Now all we need to do is eliminate smoking outside the bars’ doors so customers when leaving don’t have to walk through a cloud of smoke.