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News Summary

Smoking ban going smoothly, but state efforts not faring well

Publication Date: 1/11/2008
  • Author:HATTIE BERNSTEIN and STEPHANIE HOOPER
  • Publication:Nashua (NH) Telegraph

Four months after a state law banning smoking in restaurants and bars went into effect, health officials are praising businesses for complying with the new law, but the American Lung Association is still giving the state low grades on its efforts to prevent tobacco use.

Mary Anne Cooney, the state's public health director, is giving high marks to businesses for educating themselves and their customers.

"People are much more cooperative than we had anticipated," said Cooney. Kate Frey, policy administrator for the state division of public health services, said the state has received several complaints about smoking in bingo halls, which is prohibited by law.

But a random sampling of 224 restaurants and cocktail lounges in the state found 220 of those businesses were in compliance, Frey said. "It wasn't a big surprise," she added. "We found many prior to the law had changed their policies."