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New Minnesota Smoking Laws for Restaurants

Are there any new Minnesota smoking laws that restaurant owners and managers need to be aware of?

In 2007, Minnesota passed the Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007. This law took the place of the very first non-smoking law that was passed in the United States. The new law was passed on May 16, 2007 and it went into effect on October 1, 2007.  

The Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007 makes it illegal to smoke in all enclosed public places and workplaces including both restaurants and bars. This act also applies to private clubs. 

There are some places where smoking may occur. For example, smoking is allowed just outside of bars or restaurants on outdoor patios. There are other exceptions to the rule as well.   Smoking can take place in hotel or motel rooms where people sleep. However, these rooms must be categorized as “Smoking Rooms”. Smoking is also allowed in tobacco retail shops. A store qualifies as a tobacco shop if the majority of the sales come from selling tobacco or tobacco related products. Smoking is also allowed in certain nursing homes and some patients who are locked in psych units are allowed to smoke too. 

As part of the law, restaurant owners (as well as other business owners and managers) must remove ashtrays from all areas where smoking is prohibited. In addition to this, “No Smoking” signs must be posted at or near all entrances to the establishment. Furthermore, restaurant owners and managers need to make sure that no customers smoke inside the restaurant. Again, smoking is allowed on an outside patio and it’s also allowed on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. If a customer refuses to comply with the new non-smoking law, that customer should be refused service and asked to leave the premises. 

Minnesota’s Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007 does not stop or override any local non-smoking laws that are stricter than the state law. Therefore, restaurant owners and managers need to be aware of any local smoking laws that might apply as well.  CR

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 at 9:05 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management, Labor Laws, Management / Leadership Development, Workplace Health & Safety, Workplace Management.
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One Response to “New Minnesota Smoking Laws for Restaurants”

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