Smoking law enforcement

Dr. Eric L. Johnson, Grand Forks

North Dakotans spoke loud and clear in November to create smoke-free workplaces and public places.

It’s frustrating to me that now that the Legislature is in session, some legislators are spending their time trying to pick apart this law, ultimately undermining the vote of the people. A few of them are claiming that posting signs in compliance with these laws is “too costly to business owners,” but that is just blatantly untrue. This law, as passed by 67 percent of North Dakotans, requires proprietors to post smoke-free signage. This requirement isn’t at all unusual, and it certainly isn’t burdensome.

There are no requirements about what these signs look like, how much they must cost, or how big they are. There are templates available online, ready-to-hang signs at your local public health units, and the cost to make your own is as minimal as $.006, the average cost of one sheet of paper.

The reason for these signs is simple: it’s a basic reminder to educate the public. Just as you still see “Must be 21 to Enter” signs outside bars, even though that’s been the law for decades, it must be posted.

To our legislators: you were elected the same way this law was passed by receiving a majority of the vote. Respect our vote the same way we respect your election.