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Associated Press, Published January 23 2013

ND measure would reimburse smoking ban costs

BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers are considering a bill that would reimburse business owners for signage and other potential costs incurred from a new statewide smoking ban.

The new law passed by voters in November expands the ban to bars, motels, private nursing homes, cabs and public transportation. It also prohibits smoking within 20 feet of an entrance to a public building.

Republican Rep. Blair Thoreson (THOR'-suhn) of Fargo is one of the bill's sponsors. He also owns a bar. Thoreson told the House Human Resources Committee that there are expensive costs involved in complying with the new law, including signage.

But North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy director Jeanne Prom says posting required signs doesn't have to be expensive. She says they can even be handwritten.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.