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Deep Breath ... SD Smoking Ban Now in in Effect

November 11, 2010

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The expanded smoking ban, passed by last year's South Dakota legislature, then referred to a vote by opponents, is now in effect. Voters endorsed the original law at the polls last week.

Mary Michaels, South Dakota government relations director for the American Heart Association, says they expect long-term benefits from the ban.

"The South Dakota Association of Health Care Organizations estimates that within the first year of implementation here in the state, we could see as many as 600 fewer heart attack hospitalizations."

Michaels says their coalition plans to continue helping people make healthy lifestyle choices. She emphasizes they do not have any interest in a total ban on tobacco products.

"You know, we have learned from prohibition that it really doesn't work, and we're not attempting to outlaw tobacco. I mean, what we were after with our effort over the last several years has been achieved now in just protecting individuals in indoor places, where they are working or socializing, from that secondhand smoke."

Opponents of the smoking ban said it will hurt businesses, and in turn the state, from a drop in tobacco tax revenues.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD