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News Summary

There's change in the air as smoking ban nears

Publication Date: 2009-09-06
  • Author:JO DEE BLACK
  • Publication:Great Falls (MT) Tribune

Not everyone is waiting for the Oct. 1 date with dread.

"The countdown has begun," said Linda Lee, section supervisor for the Montana Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention Program. "This will be a plus for the health of Montanans."

Montana's Clean Indoor Air Act is a state law passed by the 2005 Legislature. That October, smoking became illegal inside public places, such as office buildings, public transportation, health care facilities, colleges, restaurants and bars.

There was an exception for casinos and some bars. As long as minors were not allowed, smoking could continue for four more years. That extra time is now up.

The intent of the act is to protect Montanans from secondhand smoke in enclosed places, Lee said.

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