Smoke-Free North Dakota | VideoAmy Fox | 12/5/2012
"We like going and having a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette," said Tommy Freemin, smoker.
But as of Monday, smokers have to put out their cigarettes before they go inside Schatz Crossroads Restaurant.
"We wanted to have basically everything set up before the ban went into effect,” said Krista Schatz-Marshall. “That way, we knew we were complying with all the codes and the new laws."
The restaurant used to have a separate smoking room with closing doors and ventilation system, but under the new law, they`ve had to make some changes.
"Now, we`ve pulled out these doors that open and close because the whole restaurant in now non-smoking," Schatz-Marchall said.
The new smoke-free atmosphere is bringing in some mixed reviews from customers.
"I think our rights are being taken away from us, the option to choose. And, I didn`t see a problem with this. They had a non-smoking area," said Freemin.
"Are you happy to see this turn into a non-smoking facility? Sure am. And, why is that? I don`t smoke, never have. And, you like not breathing in the smoke? No, don`t like it at all," said non-smoker Tim Cable.
While smoking is no longer permitted inside the truck stop, smokers can still light up outside as long as they stay at least 20 feet away from the building. But that could be pretty difficult to police.
"We don`t really stand out there and make sure that it’s no smoking out there, you know, especially when it gets cold. But, I don`t foresee it being a huge problem.”
If you`re caught lighting up in a public place, it`s a $50 fine.
"Hopefully, it`s self-enforcing, you know. Mostly, it`s going to be on a complaint basis if people, you know, see a violation, they can report it to law enforcement," said First District Health Community Outreach Coordinator Holly Brekhus.
Schatz-Marshall says she`s hoping to leave the politics behind and looks forward to providing the same service they always have.
"There`s obviously nothing we can do about the state law, so we tried as long as we could to accommodate both parties. Now, we need to move forward as non-smoking."