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News Summary

Workplaces preparing for Jan. 1 anti-smoking law

Publication Date: 10/31/2008
  • Author:Wendy Culverwell
  • Publication:The Business Journal Portland

Tough new anti-smoking laws that take effect in two months will snuff out cigarettes in bars, bingo halls, bowling centers and other workplaces excluded when the state first cracked down on secondhand smoke in 2002.

The deadline to eliminate smoking in virtually all workplaces arrives on Jan. 1 and is being met with a sense of inevitability, coupled with angst for venues that couple smoking with video poker.

Proponents of the law say going smoke-free is typically good for business. They say it brings in more nonsmoking customers and cuts down on cleaning and maintenance costs.

"What has been consistent is that most people are nonsmokers and even most smokers like smoke-free areas," said Karen Girard, tobacco prevention and education program manager for the Oregon Public Health Division. "This can be a real benefit to the bottom line of business."