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ND House kills bar smoking ban

BISMARCK (AP) -- North Dakotans who visit bars will still be able to light up a cigarette if they wish.

The North Dakota House defeated a proposal to ban smoking in bars and motels. Representatives voted 59-33 to reject the legislation.

Smoking is already prohibited in restaurants, office buildings and most public workplaces. Anti-smoking advocates asked the Legislature to extend the restrictions to bars and motels.

Montpelier Rep. Craig Headland says everyone knows smoking isn't healthy. But Headland says it should be a matter of choice for bar owners about whether to allow smoking.

Headland says the line has to be drawn somewhere against the "nanny state."

Grand Forks Rep. Darrell Nottestad says bar workers shouldn't have to be exposed to smoke.

And he believes if the Legislature doesn't ban smoking in bars, North Dakotans will put the idea to a statewide vote and approve it. Bill 1213 was 59-33.