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Goodhue County has smoking ban violations to date

Goodhue County has had no documented violations of the state smoking ban since it went into effect Oct. 1.

"It's been amazingly quiet here in Goodhue County," said Tom Wolff, tobacco grant coordinator with the Goodhue County Public Health Service.

During the first weekend with the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, there was one minor misunderstanding, Wolff said. Although patrons at a local bar went outside to smoke, he said, they took their beers with, thereby having an open container on a public sidewalk.

"There was one other place out in the county where the sheriffs got a report that people were smoking at a business, but when I went out there everything seemed as it should be. The signs were posted, the ashtrays were gone," Wolff said.

"From my point of view, I guess I'd have to say no news is good news," he added.

"But we're going to keep trying to educate the public when opportunities present themselves."

Thus far, the greatest confusion surrounds the distance people must stand from a building's entrance while smoking. Wolff said the legislation specifically covers indoor air, so as long as the person is outside the door, it's OK to smoke.

For more information or to report violations, contact Wolff at (651) 385-6142.

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