We don’t smoke, but are going to vote no on Measure 4 because it is overly broad and allows even more government intrusion into the personal choices and business decisions of North Dakota citizens.
Measure 4 prohibits smoking in all enclosed areas of public places and places of employment including: farm vehicles, quonsets, pole barns, retail outlets, businesses, enclosed construction sites, buildings under construction (apartments, homes and commercial buildings) field offices/temporary management sites, oil field vehicles, enclosed field facilities) and within 20 feet of any entrance of those facilities. A place of employment is defined as “An area under the control of a public or private employer.”
Make no mistake, whether you are a farm or ranch employer, run a construction company, operate an oil rig service or own a truck stop, Measure 4 is going to place more unwanted compliance burdens on your operations.
The scope of this measure is so broad that the groups presenting it couldn’t explain its impact to the business community when they appeared before a legislative committee this month.
This is what a business owner needs to do to comply: post no smoking signs at every entrance, upon every vehicle, and communicate to all employees that smoking is prohibited; must enforce the measure at work and report all violations. If you don’t comply, fines range from $100 to $500 and you run the risk of having your permits or licenses suspended or revoked.
Oh, and a “public place” is defined as “any area which the public enters.” A veteran who has put his life on the line to protect our freedoms would not be allowed to smoke in the local park at a family reunion. Is that where we want to go as a country? If Measure 4 passes, electronic cigarettes will also be banned. These devices contain no tobacco or cancer-causing agents and only deliver a non-harmful water vapor mist. Why would they want to ban a safe alternative to cigarettes?
Vote no on Measure 4. If we aren’t careful, pretty soon we will be allowing the government to determine how many hamburger, and French fries we can eat and what we should and shouldn’t be drinking, or how big a soft-drink we can buy (wait, that’s in New York City).
This great state and country we call home was formed on the ideals of independence and personal rights. Let’s protect them.
Mike Rud of the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers and North Dakota Propane Gas Association; Dwight Wrangham of the North Dakota Coin and Tavern Owners Association, Rudie Martinson of the North Dakota Hospitality Association; and Robert Harms, Bismarck