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Montana

Montana's workplaces, restaurants, bars, and casinos are 100% smokefree.

Montana's restaurants have been smokefree since 2005, and Montana's bars and non-tribal casinos went 100% smokefree in 2009. Thanks to this strong statewide law, workers and visitors all across the state enjoy completely smokefree workplaces. In addition, local cities and counties once prohibited from passing local laws, are now able to pass local smokefree laws that are stronger than state law.

Montanans love their new smokefree workplace law, with nearly 9 out of 10 people supporting the smokefree restaurant provision and 76% of residents supporting smokefree the bar and casino provision (Montana Adult Tobacco Survey, 2009).

Visit www.tobaccofree.mt.gov for more information about the law or how to file a complaint. Signage can be acquired by calling 1-866-787-5274.

Read more about current tobacco-related legislation in Montana.

2014 State Legislative Session: No regular session

American Cancer Society Quitline: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669)

Smokefree & Related News

Worksite wellness emphasizes cancer screening
Great Falls Tribune - October 10, 2014

When it comes to worksite wellness programs, Montana is proving its ahead of the curve, especially where breast, colorectal and cervical cancer screenings are concerned. For example, implementing a smoke-free workplace means that people may smoke less, having healthier vending machine options or healthy meeting ...

The University has an image problem: You
Montana Kaimin - September 9, 2014

Chewing tobacco doesn't give off second-hand smoke, but it's banned as well. ... The tobacco ban is part of a larger University complex designed to sanitize ...

Secondhand smoke isn't safe for anyone
The Missoulian - September 8, 2014

Completely avoiding exposure to secondhand is hard to do, but the following are examples of how to make your environment smoke-free: make your home and ...

E-cig flap: County health worker oversteps law with electronic cig ...
Montana Standard - August 21, 2014

A county health worker said Thursday he apologized in person to two business owners for suggesting that use of electronic cigarettes in their "vapor" stores was ...

Legislators should stay focused on Montana issues
Laurel Outlook - August 20, 2014

They range in topic from regulating the sale and use of e-cigarettes to revising legislative compensation to include day care reimbursement, revising licensing of ...

A telling look back at public health in Lewis and Clark County
Helena Independent Record - August 20, 2014

We encourage policies that make it easier to access healthy food, be more physically active and avoid exposure to second- and third-hand smoke...

GONA camp lays positive foundations for tribal youth
Char-Koosta News - July 17, 2014

Each year the GONA event is held at different locations in Montana to forward its anti-tobacco/substance-abuse message and this year, the Flathead ...

Toward a tobacco-free society
Billings Gazette - May 28, 2014

In the past 50 years, we've made progress combating the health consequences of smoking. But, unless we continue to fight against tobacco use, 5.6 million of today's children will die early from smoking, according to this year's report from the acting U.S. Surgeon General, the nation's doctor....

Questions over e-cigarettes continue in Missoula
KPAX-TV - May 21, 2014

Could e-Cigarettes be a safer option for the 16% of adult Montanans that are currently lighting up? "I caution people when thinking about using e-cigarettes. It's the fear in the unknown. You don't know what you're putting in your body and you don't know how your body will react to those 20 years down the road," said Kaila Warren with the Missoula City-County Health Department Tobacco Prevention Program.

E-cigarette regulation concerns local health officials
Daily Inter Lake - May 11, 2014

As more Americans put down their cigarettes in favor of their electronic counterparts, health officials and local governments are scrambling to adapt.

Trustees approve cross-country team, BPA chapter
West Yellowstone News - April 11, 2014

... Program and Montana Tobacco Prevenetion Advisory Board presented the school district with a certificate and banner for being a tobacco-free district.

Few bans on selling, using, promoting e-cigarettes
Great Falls Tribune - March 23, 2014

There arent a lot of laws and regulations governing e-cigarettes, officials say, and that could be either because their health risks and benefits havent been thoroughly studied yet or because restrictions on tobacco cigarettes were written before their electronic versions came into regular use. For instance, the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans tobacco smoking in public enclosed places, does not prohibit the use of electric cigarettes, said Nicole Bronec, youth tobacco prevention coordinator with the City-County Health Department. ...

Nip It in the Butt: Students pick up cigarettes as part of cleanup
Great Falls Tribune - March 21, 2014

But Great Falls' cleanup also coincided with the installation of the new smoke-free zone signs being placed in parks across Great Falls after a city resolution ...

Students pick up cigarettes as part of cleanup
Great Falls Tribune - March 19, 2014

Great Falls' cleanup also coincided with the installation of the new smoke-free zone signs being placed in parks across Great Falls after a city resolution ...

War on Smoking began 50 years ago with Surgeon General's report
Ravalli Republic - March 19, 2014

Jan. 11 of this year marked the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon Generals Report on Smoking and Health. Dr. Luther Terry issued the report at the request of President John F. Kennedy, linking smoking to lung cancer, heart disease, laryngeal cancer and fetal damage during pregnancy. In response to that report, Congress passed legislation requiring a health warning on cigarette packaging, a ban on cigarette advertising in the broadcasting media, and called for an annual report on the consequences of smoking on health. That law was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon in 1970. The final cigarette television ad was scheduled for Dec. 31, 1970 but was delayed until Jan. 1, 1971 to allow the television networks one additional cash windfall from the New Years Day football game cigarette ads.

HEALTH MATTERS: Myths, truths about hookah smoking
Billings Gazette - March 12, 2014

Myth: Smoking on a hookah is less harmful than smoking cigarettes. ... Cigarette smoke is generated by burning tobacco, while hookah smoke is produced by ... If you or someone you know needs help to quit smoking or using tobacco products, call the Montana Tobacco Quit Line

Smokefree law: Bartender grateful for indoor ban
The Missoulian - February 24, 2014

I just want to start by saying how grateful I am for the smoking ban. I have been a bartender most of my life and being a nonsmoker, the fact that I had to breathe in that harmful smoke that the customers blew on me during my shifts was very unpleasant, and then after each shift having to wash that reeking stench out of my clothes makes me curious how many nonsmokers die each year from having to breathe secondhand smoke.

Montana making progress in cutting tobacco use
The Missoulian - February 10, 2014

Since that time, Montana has made remarkable progress, cutting smoking rates by more than half and protecting Montanans from harmful secondhand smoke.

ASUM votes for more hours for executive positions
Montana Kaimin – February 5, 2014

...ASUM also passed a resolution encouraging the University Center Board to repeal its current ban on electronic cigarettes, and discourages any other efforts to ban electronic cigarettes across campus until further research has been documented. ASUM also made the decision to strike language from the resolution which stated that ASUM fully endorses and supports UM’s Tobacco-Free Campus Policy...

Guest opinion: Montanans can prevent smoking deaths
Billings Gazette - February 5, 2014

Montana health advocates are celebrating the enormous progress that has been made in reducing tobacco use over the past five decades, but also calling on all ...

Montana opinion: Smoking lounges should be widely accepted in state
Great Falls Tribune - January 30, 2014

... several local family businesses with his brother Doug, including Gold's Casino and ... As an owner of the smoking shelters in the news lately, I would like to ... On Oct. 1, 2009, the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act took effect on bars and casinos.

Great Falls casino smoking rooms involved in another lawsuit
KAJ18 Kalispell Montana News - January 20, 2014

Great Falls casino smoking rooms are involved in a new lawsuit, this time over whether or not they meet state requirements for gambling spaces. District Court Judge Greg Pinski ruled that smoking rooms do not violate the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act back in November. Great Falls casino owners now say the Montana Department of Justice's Gambling Control Division demanded they remove their gambling machines from the rooms, even after previously approving them. Court documents state that for the past two years the Gambling Control Division approved the smoking rooms, saying they were in compliance with the rules and regulations of the gambling laws.

Great Falls casino smoking rooms called into question
KRTV Great Falls News - January 3, 2014

The Cascade City-County Board of Health is appealing, to the Montana Supreme Court, a ruling that says casino smoking rooms in Great Falls are legal, according to MC Incorporated which owns several casinos in the Electric City. Last November, District Court Judge Greg Pinski handed down the decision which states that smoking rooms in Great Falls are legal.

Warning: 'E' cigs unregulated
Montana Standard - October 26, 2013

In the Oct. 21 edition of The Montana Standard was a one-quarter page ad touting the benefits of E cigarettes. This should come as no surprise that Big Tobacco is behind this.

Where there's no smoke, there's fire
Montana Kaimin - October 16, 2013

Horton is a care coordinator at the wellness office and is volunteering with Tobacco Free Montana this week to gather signatures in support of keeping the ...

Clean Indoor Air Act: Indian Center urges tobacco-free life
The Missoulian - October 2, 2013

As we celebrate the upcoming ninth anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Act, which was passed in 2005 by the Montana Legislature, we are reminded that the law requires all enclosed public places and workplaces to be smoke free and it requires businesses to prominently place smoke free signs on all public entrances. Surveys reveal that the vast majority of Montanans support and are happy with the CIAA and believe Montana workers deserve a smoke free place to work. More than 90 percent of Montanans surveyed stated they will visit bars as often or more often now that the law is in place. Oct. 19, during the University of Montana Griz Football game, the Missoula Indian Center will be collaborating with the University of Montana American Indian Student Services to celebrate the CIAA and provide tobacco use prevention education. Please come visit our table at the University of Montana Native American Alumni Association tailgate at the Griz game.

Secondhand smoke contains dozens of harmful chemicals ($$)
Billings Gazette - October 2, 2013

Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death and disease. It is a serious health risk, both to those who smoke or chew and to those exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke.... The CIAA requires all enclosed public places and workplaces to be smoke-free, including restaurants, bars, taverns and casinos. It also requires all businesses ...

Great Falls leaders discuss utility services, tobacco free parks, and ...
KRTV Great Falls News - September 18, 2013

Great Falls civic leaders will begin looking for an electric and gas supplier starting next week, city parks will soon see new tobacco free zones, and there could ...

Vigilance needed on Montana's smokefree law
Helena Independent Record - August 31, 2013

Smoke-filled casinos put people in the hospital. ... 2008 when Colorado's smokefree law was extended to include casinos, ambulance calls originating on casino ...

Montana Opinion: Smoke shacks harm workers
Great Falls Tribune - August 30, 2013

On Oct. 1, 2009, the state of Montana took a great leap forward in protecting the states workers when it extended the Clean Indoor Air Act to include all bars and casinos. For the first time, all Montana indoor public places and workplaces became smoke-free. Its a moment in history all Montanans should be able to boldly celebrate this Labor Day. Sadly, some cannot. The Montana workers for whom this Labor Day is diminished are the people who work at several casinos in Great Falls, where they are exposed to secondhand smoke as the price they pay for their jobs.

County considers tobacco-free-campus policy
Bitterroot Star - August 7, 2013

Lindsay Stover of Tobacco Free Ravalli County got a favorable hearing before the County Commissioners last week when she asked them to consider implementing a tobacco-free policy that would prohibit all forms of tobacco products and the use of these products, including e-cigarettes, on the grounds or in any of the buildings owned by Ravalli County.

Are Great Falls 'smoke shacks' violating the Clean Indoor Air Act?
MTPR - July 31, 2013

A group of Great Falls health advocates are accusing at least nine bars and casinos in that city of not being in compliance with Montana's Clean Indoor Air Act. The law prohibits smoking in public buildings and fully went into effect in 2009. At issue are so-called 'smoke shacks' attached to the casinos. These ventilated rooms allow people to smoke, drink and use gaming machines. Bar owners are open-air vents in the rooms make them technically not indoor, enclosed, spaces. …

Lawsuit over GFalls casinos' smoking shelters
Kansas City Star - July 22, 2013

GREAT FALLS, Mont. The Cascade County health department and the owners of several casinos in Great Falls are in a battle over a workaround the casino owners believe allows their customers to gamble while smoking. Brothers Doug and K.C. Palagi and their attorney and business partner Gregory Smith filed a lawsuit against the Cascade City-County Board of Health after they were threatened with a misdemeanor citation alleging their smoking shelters violated Montana's Clean Indoor Air Act, the Great Falls Tribune (http://gftrib.com/17yI16o ) reported Sunday.

Alive@5 events will remain tobacco-free
Great Falls Tribune - July 18, 2013

After a trial run, the remaining Alive@5 events in 2013 will remain tobacco-free, according to the Cascade City-County Health Department and Downtown Great Falls Association, which organizes the event. Weve had no complaints that Im aware of and a lot of positive feedback, said Alive@5 committee chairman Bill Ferrin.

Hamilton LGBT group to discuss tobacco marketing strategies
Montana Standard - June 20, 2013

The advertisements give gay people the impression that the tobacco industry whole-heartedly supports the legitimization and approval of the LGBT community.”...

Alive At Five going tobacco-free for first 3 sessions
KRTV Great Falls News - June 5, 2013

Great Falls kicks off the 2013 "Alive At Five" series on Thursday, June 6, with live music, food, vendors, and games to semi-officially kick off the summer season. This year, however, organizers are trying something new, as the City-County Health Department (CCHD) has partnered with the downtown Great Falls Association to create a tobacco-free zone during the first three events of the year. Other cities, including Helena and Missoula, have enacted the same police in recent years, and say they have actually seen growth during their weekly outdoor events. Nicole Bronec of the CCHD said, "It's something that is important to us and we believe is important to the community, to help create norms of tobacco-free events, and also just to make a healthy and safe environment for families and everyone to enjoy."

MHSR in Choteau set for May 4-5
Choteau Acantha - May 1, 2013

On May 4 and 5, the Montana High School Rodeo Association will host a reACT Tobacco Free Rodeo at the Choteau American Legion Rodeo Grounds. People think tobacco has become a part of rodeo culture, but it doesnt have to be, Teton County Tobacco-Use Prevention Specialist April Spaulding says. Its time to take the reins and reclaim one of Montanas favorite pastimes. Tobacco has no place in our rodeos. The MHSRA tobacco-free rodeo will begin on May 4 about a half hour following the cutting event, which begins at 8 a.m.

County health official warns Butte bars about smoking ban violations
The Missoulian - March 30, 2013

It requires all enclosed public places and workplaces to be smoke-free, and for businesses to place smoke-free signs on all public entrances. According to ...

Health official eyes Butte smoking violations
Billings Gazette - March 30, 2013

A Butte-Silver Bow health department official says more complaints are being made about people violating state law by smoking inside bars, restaurants and casinos. Tobacco use prevention specialist Frank Rozan says the agency has received five complaints this year through Friday. That's equal to the number of complaints all of last year. State law requires all enclosed public places and workplaces to be smoke-free. …

PMC moving to be a smoke-free facility
Independent Observer - March 14, 2013

The Pondera Medical Center (PMC) has announced plans to become a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus beginning March 15. After that date, no tobacco use of any kind will be permitted – both inside and outside – on all PMC property. …

Montana medical marijuana advocates push final bill aimed at 2011 ...
The Missoulian - March 11, 2013

HELENA – Medical marijuana advocates are making a final try this legislative session to amend the 2011 law that imposed tighter restrictions on what was then a booming industry here. Sen. Dave Wanzenried, D-Missoula, recently introduced Senate Bill 377 for a group called Montana Association for Rights. … In addition, SB377 would loosen the current ban on smoking medical pot in public places. …

CJI Public Schools acknowledged as a Tobacco Free School District ...
Libertycountytimes-January 15, 2013

Chester- Joplin- Inverness Public Schools has received recognition as a Tobacco Free School District of Excellence by Montana Office of Public Instruction ...

City commission OKs tobacco free park proposal
Helena Independent Record - December 5, 2012

When Centennial Park has its formal reopening next year, it will be a poster child for Helena in the city’s efforts to discourage tobacco use. The nearly 60-acre park, built on the site of a reclaimed landfill, is called a centerpiece attraction for outdoor recreation in town, and on Monday night the City Commission agreed to make the park a “tobacco free environment.” …

Helena park will be tobacco-free
KXLH Helena News - December 5, 2012

Montana law requires all enclosed public places and workplaces to be smoke-free, and now the City of Helena is taking the next step and going tobacco-free at Centennial Park.
City Commissioners passed a resolution on Monday night to make the Centennial Park tobacco-free. …

Centennial Park may go tobacco-free
Helena Independent Record - November 8, 2012

The Helena City Commission will consider a resolution to keep tobacco out of the newly reconstructed Centennial Park, but it may rely on social pressure and the goodwill of park users, not law enforcement, to achieve that goal. A draft resolution slated for a vote and public hearing Dec. 3 says the park “will be operated as a tobacco-free environment.” But the measure as written would not carry any enforcement mechanism or proscribe any penalties for people who chew or smoke. …

FVCC looks to go tobacco free
KPAX-TV - October 24, 2012

KALISPELL- It looks like Flathead Valley Community College will be taking after other schools in going completely tobacco free. Board members passed the first ...

Man encourages apartments to go smoke-free
KRTV Great Falls News - October 15, 2012

In 2005 the clean indoor air act passed in Montana, banning smoking inside all public buildings, but there are still some structures exempt from the ban. Now one man is trying to encourage apartment complexes to make the switch on their own. Teddy Nault is making his case to dozens of apartment complex owners in Cascade County, encouraging all to ban smoking inside their buildings. …

Kudos to new smoke-free campus at TMC
Choteau Acantha (MT) - October 10, 2012

Kudos to the Teton County Hospital District Board and the Teton Medical Center administration and staff on the hospital's conversion to a smoke-free campus as ...

TMC going tobacco-free
Choteau Acantha - October 3, 2012

On Oct. 10 Teton Medical Center will be the 45th hospital to implement a tobacco-free campus. Tobacco use will be prohibited indoors and outdoors on all TMC ...

RiverStone Health is Tobacco Free
KULR-TV - October 2, 2012

BILLINGS - RiverStone Health went tobacco-free Monday, making it the 48th medical or healthcare organization in Montana to implement the policy. ...

Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program promotes smoke-free policies in public housing
Beartooth NBC - September 20, 2012

The Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program, or MTUPP, is focusing this year's conference on the promotion of smoke free policies in multi-unit housing complexes across the state. …

Tobacco-free: MSU campus ban starts Wednesday
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle - July 29, 2012

Brandi Higgins would like to quit smoking someday, but still she isn't pleased that starting Wednesday the Montana State University campus where she works ...

Tobacco could be banned at park
Helena Independent Record - June 7, 2012

When Centennial Park formally opens in September, it may be a tobacco-free area, and depending on how that goes, additional outdoor venues in Helena and ...

Missoula County Fairgrounds gets smoking ban
ABCMontana - June 3, 2012

Missoula City-County Health Department Tobacco Free Coordinator Erica Rollins says the ban will also limit secondhand smoke exposure to some 65000 ...

Western Montana Fair goes "smoke free" this year
KPAX-TV - June 1, 2012

MISSOULA- The old expression smoke them if you've got them. ... County has decided to enact a complete smoking ban on the fairgrounds citing the safety ... County commissioners signed the resolution banning smoking in early May, citing a ...

College trustees hear smoking complaint
Daily Inter Lake (MT) - May 24, 2012

At its regular May meeting on Monday, the Flathead Valley Community College Board of Trustees raised the age for the senior tuition benefit to 65 and heard a student complaint about the campus smoking policy. … The college now only allows smoking in designated areas. ... He said secondhand smoke kills 50000 people each year, and that about four Montanans die ...

Best Bet Casino owner fined for smoking ban violations
Helena (MT) Independent Record, 2012-04-05

Smoking in Best Bet Casino got expensive Wednesday for the casino’s owner. Justice of the Peace Mike Swingley fined Sandy Jones, 58, the owner of the casino at 1225 Euclid Ave., the maximum fines, totaling $800, for three different violations of the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act in 2010. …

Montana State campuses to go smoke free this fall
Helena Independent Record - Apr 2, 2012

Montana State University campuses in Bozeman and Billings plan to kick the smoking habit this fall. The Bozeman campus goes smoke free on Aug. 1, followed two weeks later by the Billings campus on Aug. 15. "There is no right to smoke," Darla Tyler-McSherry ...

Owner of Best Bet Casino violated smoking ban, jury decides
Helena (MT) Independent Record - March 7, 2012

Sandy Jones, owner of Best Bet Casino at 1225 Euclid Ave., was found guilty of failing to enforce the indoor smoking ban three times in 2010, according to ...

Great Falls business wrestles with indoor smoking law
KTVQ (Billings, MT), 2011-12-21
Erin Schermele (Great Falls) Updated

When the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect, several bar and casino owners in Great Falls saw a 25% drop in business. ...

Smokers so far complying with University of Montana's tobacco ban
The Missoulian, 2011-09-05
CHELSI MOY of the Missoulian

Several times last week, Julee Stearns strolled along Arthur and Beckwith avenues offering free-drink coupons to smokers standing in the grassy area between the street and the sidewalk. ...

New School Year Tobacco Free At UM
NBC Montana - Emily Adamson – August 29, 2011

The University of Montana's fall semester started Monday, and so did the tobacco free policy. It requires UM students, employees, and visitors to use ...

Montana Western campus in Dillon goes tobacco free
Greenfield Daily Reporter - August 1, 2011

It prohibits the use of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, as well as all forms of smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes. The effort to move Western ...

Blackfeet to end smoking in Glacier Peaks Casino
Great Falls (MT) Tribune, 2011-05-10

Smoking no longer will be allowed at the Glacier Peaks Casino in Browning. ...

Blackfeet tribal casino goes smoke free
Billings Gazette - May 10, 2011

The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council voted 5-4 Monday to ban smoking in the Glacier Peaks Casino. The Blackfeet Tobacco Free Act was passed in 2005, banning smoking in enclosed public places. Casinos were exempted until September 2007. ...

MSU leaders vote to make campus tobacco-free
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle - May 5, 2011

MSU Provost Martha Potvin said when the University of North Dakota imposed a tobacco ban, some people would still smoke in their cars, arguing it was private property. It was also tough, she said, for deans to walk up to somebody smoking behind a ...

Budget panel chops tobacco-prevention funds, family planning
Billings (MT) Gazette, 2011-02-01
MIKE DENNISON Gazette State Bureau

Republicans on a legislative budget panel voted Monday to cut nearly all state funding for tobacco-prevention programs, and instead use part of the money to maintain spending for nursing homes and home-health programs for the elderly. ...

Video gambling revenues down for two previous years
Billings Gazette - January 5, 2011

HELENA — Buffeted by the recession and later the indoor-smoking ban in taverns and casinos, video gambling revenues in Montana dropped 2 percent in fiscal 2009 over the previous year and then plunged by 16 percent in fiscal year 2010, the state Gambling Control Division has reported.

The revenue fall from fiscal 2008 to 2009 marked the first decline in the 20-year history of the tax, the division said in its biennial report. The Gambling Control Division is part of the state Justice Department.

Video gambling machine tax collections for fiscal 2008 totaled $63.4 million. Tax collections from electronic poker and keno machines in fiscal 2009 dropped to $62.1 million.

Then in fiscal 2010, revenues dropped again, this time to $52.4 million, or 16 percent from the previous year, as the state's Indoor Clean Air Act took effect Oct. 1, 2009, for bars and casinos, four years after it applied to other businesses.

The state imposes a 15 percent tax on what's defined as the gross income from video gambling machines. It is applied to the income of the poker and keno machines, which is the amount of money played in the machine minus the payouts in winnings. If $100 is wagered on a video gambling machine and players won $30, the gross income for that day would be $70 ...

Snuffing out: Montanans buying fewer cigarettes
Billings (MT) Gazette, 2010-11-06
CINDY UKEN Of The Gazette Staff

…That was before he was diagnosed with emphysema. Carter, 63, hasn't touched one of his favored USA Gold cigarettes since Oct. 13.

"I'm in the first stages of the disease," he said. "It's there, it's a concern. I've tried quitting before, but that did it."

He relies on Chantix, a smoking cessation medicine, to help him quit. At $174 per month, it's cheaper than smoking. He's finding that ditching the smokes has some other benefits.

"I used to gamble a lot, too," Carter said. "When they banned smoking in bars, taverns and casinos, I quit gambling, too. I used to go to restaurants for pie and coffee, but I quit that, too."

When Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare designated their campuses smoke-free in 2005 and imposed a string of rules, Jennifer Hoffert cried foul. She had been smoking since high school and considered it her right. . . .

Making his mark
Helena Independent Record - July 30, 2010

When Richard Sargent was a child, his parents pointed to a spot on the underside of a bridge where someone had scribbled a name. There are better ways to leave behind a meaningful mark, they told him.

The 53-year-old physician apparently took the advice to heart. You’ll find his name scrawled into crystal, burned into metal, etched into wood. All awards recognizing his work to make the world a healthier place through his efforts at creating tobacco-free environments in Helena and other communities.

His name is also attached to a study he conducted along with Dr. Robert Shepard. The two tracked the correlation over several years between heart attacks and tobacco use. The study showed a significant reduction in the number of hospital admissions due to heart attacks during the six months of 2002 when Helena’s Clean Ari Ordinance was in effect. The study has been replicated at least 16 times around the world. ...

Town Pumps to add smoking 'huts'
Great Falls (MT) Tribune, 2010-07-27
JO DEE BLACK * Tribune Business Editor

Town Pump's properties in Great Falls will soon have external structures for smokers.

Cory Benjamin of Town Pump presented plans for six of the smoking "huts," which have open roofs and dark glass panels to the Design Review Board members Monday afternoon.

The structures will be placed at 401 10th Ave. S., 702 10th Ave. S., 1411 10th Ave. S., 3800 10th Ave. S., 501 Northwest Bypass and at the Lucky Lil's liquor store and casino on Fox Farm Road. ...

State: Clean Indoor Air Act 'public health success story'
Queen City News - April 7, 2010

After six months of living with the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act, state public health officials are calling full implementation of the smokefree law a public health success story.

“We know from extensive studies conducted in the U.S. and other countries that because of Montanan’s smokefree law, Montana residents will be experiencing fewer heart attacks,” says Anna Whiting Sorrell, director of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. “And down the road, fewer Montanans will develop lung cancer and coronary heart disease and other costly diseases will decline.”

The 2005 Montana Legislature passed the Clean Indoor Air Act but allowed bars and casinos a four-year exception. Those exceptions expired Oct. 1, 2009, and full implementation of the law began.

Linda Lee, section supervisor for the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP), said compliance with the act among Montana bars and other businesses has been successful.

“MTUPP has received complaints for less than one percent of Montana’s 2,800 bars,” Lee says. “We can safely state that compliance among Montana licensed liquor establishments and other businesses is extremely high.” ...

Gambling revenue falls with cig ban
Billings Gazette - January 19, 2010

HELENA — State video gambling tax receipts plummeted by nearly 18 percent in the last quarter of 2009, buffeted by the beginning of a statewide indoor smoking on bars and casinos and a recession that hit Montana hard.

The gross video gambling-machine taxes will be about $12.5 million for the quarter that ran from October through December 2009, said Rick Ask, administrator of the Gambling Control Division in the state Justice Department. That’s about $2.7 million, or 17.8 percent, less than what the tax revenues were the previous three months, from July through September 2009.

The quarterly gambling-machine taxes are down by 16.8 percent, or $2.5 million, compared with the previous three-month period from September through December 2008, Ask said.

Gambling-machine taxes are calculated by taking the money paid into the machines as bets and subtracting the winnings. The difference is multiplied by 15 percent to yield the taxes.

The revenue drop came as no surprise to industry officials, who were braced for the drop when the state’s 2005 indoor smoking ban took effect for casinos and taverns Oct. 1. The effective date of the law had been delayed by four years to give bars and casinos time to prepare. ...

Tobacco-free push at Montana State University stalled, but not dead
Bozeman (MT) Chronicle, 2010-01-15
GAIL SCHONTZLER Chronicle Staff Writer

Other Montana universities are moving to ban cigarettes and chewing tobacco from their campuses, but at Montana State University the proposed tobacco-free policy is stalled.

"It's really come down to a debate between public health and personal rights," said Jenny Haubenreiser, of the MSU Student Health Service's health promotions office.

She and other tobacco-free advocates went to MSU's elected student leaders last fall, hoping they would embrace the idea and take the initiative.
But the issue proved controversial, with some students protesting that it should be their right to decide whether to use tobacco and others asserting their right to be free of secondhand smoke. ...

Great Falls repeals smoking ordinance
Helena Independent Record - December 16, 2009

(AP) - Great Falls city commissioners have repealed a city ordinance that said you cannot smoke within 20 feet of a public building. ...

20-foot rule goes up in smoke
Great Falls Tribune - Richard Ecke - December 16, 2009

"There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke." Lora Wier of Choteau, representing the Montana Public Health Association, urged the city to keep ...

Public invited to discuss smoking issue
Great Falls Tribune - Richard Ecke - December 14, 2009

One of the hotter City Commission meetings of the year may take place on a cold Tuesday night in Great Falls.

Health advocates and people with lung diseases are expected to square off against casino and tavern owners, and a relatively new minority that is feeling oppressed — smokers.

City Manager Greg Doyon predicted the subject matter will attract an ample crowd at the commission's regular 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday in the Civic Center Commission Chambers. During that meeting city commissioners will hold a public hearing on whether to repeal a city ordinance prohibiting smoking within 20 feet of a door, window or air vent. ...

VIDEO: Smoking Survey
KULR - Ch. 8, 2009-11-23
Sarah Gravlee

A recent survey conducted by students and Montana State University Billings shows the smoking ban may have a slightly positive affect on Montana's economy.

Students called about 400 Montana residents at random. Results show about 20% of residents plan to go out more often since the smoking ban, while only about 10% plan to go out less often. MSU-B economist Scott Rickard said the people who said they'd go out more are in a higher income bracket.

"Net affect, it would appear that the smoking ban, at least based on these results, should have a small positive affect on revenues to these types of establishments," Rickard said. ...

Cascade County Buildings Follow City Smoking Rules
KFBB NewsChannel 5 - November 19, 2009

Over the past few days we've been telling you about battle going on between area bars and the city of Great Falls.

The local Tavern Association says the city should repeal its 20 foot ordinance in light of the statewide smoking ban, and questioned if the ordinance could be enforced on grounds of county buildings.

The ordinance prohibits smoking within 20 feet of all doors, windows and air vents, and the setup at the Cascade County courthouse appears to be in compliance.

"We are not exempt from the city ordinance,” said County Commissioner Peggy Beltrone. “We are following it and we are advising our employees to follow it as well." ...

Groups ask city commission to repeal 20-foot outdoor smoking rule
Great Falls Tribune - Erin Madison - November 18, 2009

Representatives from the Cascade County Tavern Association and the Montana Coin Machine Operators asked the Great Falls City Commission on Tuesday night to repeal the city ordinance that bans smoking within 20 feet of an entrance.

The ordinance applies an arbitrary number that doesn't work in every situation, said Ronda Wiggers, with Montana Coin Machine Operators.

She gave the example that someone wanting to smoke on Central Avenue would have a hard time finding a spot that was 20 feet away from a door or window. ...

Great Falls residents complain smoking ban isn't enforced
AP, 2009-11-15
the Associated Press


Smoking in Montana's bars, casinos and restaurants was forbidden Oct. 1, but some Great Falls residents are complaining the prohibition isn't being enforced.

That's prompted the Great Falls City Commission at a meeting Tuesday to again take up an issue many had thought resolved last month. ...

UM to ban tobacco products on campus starting in fall 2011
The Missoulian, 2009-11-10
JAMIE KELLY of the Missoulian

The University of Montana is poised to join a growing roster of colleges nationwide banning tobacco on campus.

The ban is set to go into effect in the fall of 2011, and would be the second campuswide smoking ban in Montana - as Montana Tech in Butte is going tobacco-free in 2010.

Montana State University has proposed a similar ban.

Across the country, more and more colleges are banning not just smoking, but the use of all tobacco products anywhere on campus. There are now 172 tobacco-free campuses nationwide, and another 322 smoke-free campuses.

UM and other Montana campuses currently have a 25-foot smoking perimeter around building entrances. But a study by the UM Tobacco Task Force found that nearly two-thirds of smokers were violating that regulation. ...

Gambling revenues are down one month after smoking ban
KTVQ (Billings, MT), 2009-11-05
Reporting from KTVQ in Billings

It's been about a month since the Montana Clear Indoor Act took effect in bars, casinos and restaurants across the Treasure State. According to a Billings gaming distributor, gambling revenues are down 16% to 18% across the state.

On October 1st, the Reno Club in Billings joined hundreds of others businesses in going smoke-free. Now that the smoke has cleared, businesses are taking a hard look at the bottom line.

"My gambling is down about 20% and that could be recession, it could be the weather, it could be just about anything," Reno Club owner John Blair said. ...

Hazy: Montana’s Smoking Ban Doesn’t Apply to Tribal Venues
Flathead Beacon (Kalispell, MT), 2009-11-01

RONAN - Enforcement of Montana's Clean Air Act appears to be a little hazy on Indian reservations.

Tribally owned casinos are exempt from the indoor-smoking ban, while some enrolled tribal members who own reservation bars and casinos aren't enforcing the ban.

In the meantime, Rick and Vicki Wheeler, who are not members of the Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribes, recently received their first letter of complaint from the Lake County Health Department for not enforcing the smoking ban at their Ronan business, The Club, which is within the Flathead Indian Reservation.

"Ninety percent of my customers smoke," said Rick Weaver, who has owned The Club for 20 years. "This bar is my retirement -- do they want to take that away from me, too? It's racial discrimination."

Diana Schwab, the tobacco prevention coordinator in Lake County, agrees the law raises different issues on the state's reservations. ...

Reservation casino smoking policy comes at a cost
Great Falls Tribune - October 20, 2009

It's a niche market created by the last segment of Montana's Clean Indoor Air Act originally put in place four years ago. Across the state smoking is now prohibited in all indoor public places, including bars and casinos that had, up until Oct. 1, an exemption if they did not allow anyone younger than 18 to enter their establishments.

So it's not surprising that some businesses on the state's Indian Reservations, which are not subject to the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act, are now marketing to people who like to have a cigarette with their cup of coffee, meal or adult beverage or while gambling — indoors.

That's how the free market works. Entre- preneurs fill unmet demands. Reservation-based businesses are capitalizing on their advantage — customers can smoke inside at their places, while everywhere else in the state those customers have to step outside.

But unlike other advantages reservation-based casinos have capitalized on — namely technology boosted bingo games that offer slot-machine like experiences with possible payouts far in excess of Montana's $800 limit on video gaming machines — allowing patrons to continue to smoke inside stinks.

There's no denying that many hope the Montana Clean Indoor Act will prompt some to kick the tobacco habit. But the real force behind the measure is to give employees everywhere a healthier work environment. Secondhand smoke is a health hazard. Science has proven it.

So while nonsmoking patrons can choose to spend their dollars in smoke-free establishments, employees who work somewhere that allows smoking don't have the same choice. ...

State logs 7 complaints for smoking ban violations
Great Falls Tribune - October 9, 2009

BILLINGS ­ Montana health officials say they have logged seven complaints about businesses allegedly violating a state-wide smoking ban ...

EDITORIAL: A breath of fresh air, inside & out
Helena (MT) Independent Record, 2009-10-04
An IR view

It's pretty clear that the ban enjoys broad approval. According to the state health department report, roughly 75 percent of Montanans support the smoking law.

The ban could financially hurt bars and casinos. But it's also possible that more Montanans will be more inclined to patronize smoke-free establishments, easing the pain.

Montana is state blessed with lots of elbow room. And many of us embrace that fact, both physically and psychologically, by exercising our right to live the way we choose (within the law, of course) and freely sharing what's on our minds. We also live in a state the places great value on common sense.

With the smoking ban, Montana has found a healthy balance between individual liberty and the common good. For that, and crisp, clear autumn days, we should be thankful. ...

Smoking snuffed out at bars, casinos
The Daily Inter Lake, 2009-09-30

K.J. HASCALL/Daily Inter Lake

On Thursday, many Montana bars and casinos will be different places.
That's when the final phase of the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act begins, making it illegal to smoke inside bars. Other public places already have been covered by the smoking ban, but it was delayed for bars and casinos. ...

Tavern owner hopes smoking ban will boost business
Billings Gazette - Diane Cochran - September 30, 2009

When the Billings tavern reopens Thursday - the first day of a comprehensive statewide smoking ban - it will have new carpet, new paint and, its owner hopes ...

Health Matters: Smoking ban goes in effect across Montana on Thursday
Billings Gazette - Victoria Holgard - September 30, 2009

... into law the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act. On Thursday, Montana will become the 18th state in the nation to ban smoking in all enclosed public spaces. ...

Smokefree Sabbath held in Montana
Montana's News Station - September 28, 2009

Over 60 Montana Faith Communities showed their support for the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act over the weekend.

Churches all across the state celebrated the second annual Smokefree Sabbath to unite places of worship in support of clean air in Montana.

Beginning on October 1st, the law will take affect and all enclosed public places and workplaces must be smoke free. ...

There's change in the air as smoking ban nears
Great Falls (MT) Tribune, 2009-09-06
JO DEE BLACK Tribune Business Editor

On Oct. 1, Montana's Clean Indoor Air Act's final phase kicks in, making it illegal to smoke inside public places.

At that point, casinos, bars and taverns that currently can let patrons smoke because minors are not allowed, will be forced to tell smokers to go outside.

If they don't, the business could face a misdemeanor charge and fines from $100 to $500.

"I'll probably just go home on my lunch hour instead," Nolevanko said. "I think the casinos are going to lose money because of this."

It's a belief shared by many owners of casinos and bars, said John Hayes, executive director of the Cascade County Tavern Association.

Casino owners struggle to please smokers, comply with new law
Great Falls (MT) Tribune, 2009-09-06
JO DEE BLACK * Tribune Business Editor

When the owners of the Prospector Casino went to the city's Design Review board in April to present plans to freshen up the exterior of the 616 10th Ave. S. business, Dick Barnes mentioned he also was looking at putting up an outside shelter for his customers who smoke.

On Oct. 1, his business, along with other bars, casinos and taverns in Montana that have been allowed to let customers enjoy cigarettes, will have to ask them to step outside.

Montana's Clean Indoor Air Act, which went into effect in October 2005, bans tobacco smoke from enclosed public places, including restaurants, stores, public and private offices, public transportation, schools, health care facilities, colleges, etc.

Bars and casinos could allow customers to smoke indoors, as long as they didn't allow anyone under 18 in the area.

That ends Oct. 1.

The restaurant, lounge and casino Barnes and his wife, Nancy, own has many patrons who smoke. Barnes looked at some prebuilt outside smoking shelters available through a local distributor with price tags of $9,000 on up. ...

Some smoking bars plan outdoor areas for puffing patrons after Oct. 1
The Missoulian, 2009-09-06
JAMIE KELLY of the Missoulian

Smokers are likely anxious this month, as their habit nears the full, official state stamp of disapproval on Oct 1.

But the Camels actually won't have to stay at home for a night on the town, as numerous taverns in Missoula have prepared for the day when the full weight of the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act takes effect.

Bar and beer joints intent on serving smokers have built - or have plans to build - special smoking areas, ranging from a couple of chairs and tables out back to a full-fledged smoking room, with enough open space to get around the law's definition of "enclosed space."

The latter belongs to Boomer's Pub, a popular sports bar on Brooks Street which has a new, sequestered smoking wing with separate seating and heat lamps for the cold months.
Such maneuvers are entirely legal, at least when it comes to the letter of the law as written by the 2005 Montana Legislature. ...

VFW goes smoke-free ahead of October deadline
Montana's News Station - September 1, 2009

The deadline for all Montana bars and casinos to officially go smoke-free is coming up on October 1st, but some businesses aren't waiting.

VFW Post 1087 on 10th Avenue South went smoke-free last month, after talking about it for nearly a year. They finally decided to make the change a couple weeks ago.

Some members said they wouldn't come if it went smoke-free, but the VFW says most have kept coming. In fact, other members who stopped coming because of the smoke have now returned.

The post feels that going smoke-free was the right decision. ...

Helena hospital goes smokefree
ABCMontana - September 1, 2009

HELENA - St. Peter's Hospital in Helena has joined other hospitals in the state in banning tobacco use. The ban went into effect Tuesday.
For about the last three years, St. Peter's allowed smoking in a designated building near the emergency room entrance. That building will be removed ...

Montana Tech to ban tobacco on campus | kxnet.com North Dakota News
Reiten Television KXMB Bismarck - August 6, 2009

The campus already has a smoking ban in all of its buildings, including dormitories. But smokers are allowed to smoke outside, at least 25 feet from ...

Conference helps prepare bars for going smoke-free
Great Falls Tribune - Great Falls,MT,USA – May 14, 2009

…Officials have set up an online system for reporting violations, and are bracing for increased traffic on the hotline for people who want to quit smoking.

"They're extremely well organized," said Annie Tegen, a speaker at the conference and a member of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights ­ a national group that works to enact legislation limiting public smoking.

"Montana's law is going to be one of the strongest in the country," she said.

Lawmaker drops smoking-ban exemption proposal
Helena Independent Record, MT - January 20, 2009

Calling the bill “dead on arrival,” Sen. Jerry Black, R-Shelby, said Monday he has dropped plans to sponsor legislation to permanently exempt some 1,400 Montana bars and casinos from a statewide smoking ban effective Oct. 1.

Black said he has put a hold on the bill.

“I do not intend to purse it in any way, he said, “although I do agree with my requester of the bill that it is a property rights issue, and customers should have a choice of going to a smoking or a non-smoking establishment.

“But people are overwhelmingly supportive of the Indoor Clean Air Act. So there is no sense in pursuing a bill that has no chance of passing.”

Legislators should do nothing to roll back smoking ban
Great Falls Tribune, MT, November 25, 2008

Nowhere was that more evident than here in Marlboro Country, where the 2005 Legislature passed the Clean Indoor Air Act. It imposed the smoking ban in most public places on Oct. 1 that year, but it phased in the rest, giving bars and casinos four more years to prepare for a total ban.

At the time, Oct .1, 2009, seemed a long way off. But a funny thing about time: It passes. Now it's less than a year and one legislative session away.

It should be no surprise, then, that lawmakers in January may be asked to roll back the ban...

Bill targets smoking ban
Senator seeks to exempt bars, casinos from 2009 law
Montana Standard, 2008-11-21

Legislators next year may face more contentious debates over an explosive issue they thought they had resolved in 2005 --banning smoking in bars and casinos.

Sen. Jerry Black, R-Shelby, is having a bill drafted to permanently exempt some 1,400 bars and casinos from a statewide smoking ban set to apply to these establishments Oct. 1, 2009.

His proposal would apply to only those bars and businesses that sought an exemption by June 30 from the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act.
This law banned smoking in all other Montana public buildings and indoor workplaces as of October 2005. It gave bars and casinos four more years to prepare for the ban.

Several business people, including one tavern owner, asked Black to submit the bill draft. Black said he isn't sure yet if he will actually introduce the bill and conceded it probably has "mixed to nil" chances of passing.

Deadline looms for smoking indoors
Great Falls Tribune, October 1, 2008

One year from today, by law, Montana's bars and restaurants must be smoke-free.

Smokers and nonsmokers predictably take opposing views, and the tavern owners have basically three choices:

- Fall into line sometime over the next year,

- Put the ashtrays in the trash Oct. 1, 2009, or

- Roll the dice that a judge might be willing to declare the 2005 Clean Indoor Air Act unconstitutional.

No one's talking openly about legal action yet, but the clean-air advocates expect one last challenge before it's all over.

"I've heard talk that some people might challenge it on a property rights issue, but that's only talk," said John Hayes, director of the Cascade County Tavern Association. “Personally, I'm in the acceptance mode," he added. "We're moving toward a smokeless society, and we're just going to have to adjust to it."

However, he predicted many smaller bars and restaurants could lose enough business that they will be forced to close.

The deadline was set in place by the Montana Legislature, which passed the Clean Indoor Act of 2005. It prohibited the use of all tobacco products in public schools and eliminated smoking in most enclosed public places across the state.

Bars and casinos, which tend to be among the smokiest places, were given an extended period in which to comply.

To date, about 120 of the state's 900 bars and casinos have already banned smoking.

The law does not apply to Montana's Indian reservations, said Linda Lee, head of the state health department's Tobacco Use Prevention Project.

"But we do have a policy that tribal buildings be smoke-free, and people who want to smoke have to stand outside," said June Tatsey, health officer for the Blackfeet Tribe. "And our tribal leaders have done a lot to let people know how detrimental smoking is to their health, so I think people are becoming more and more aware of this health hazard," Tatsey said. ...

Smoking study well vindicated
By Helena (MT) Independent Record - An IR view - 09/27/2008

It has been more than half a decade since Helena physicians Richard Sargent and Robert Shepard published their study on the startlingly high impact of second-hand smoke on the incidence of heart attacks ­ a study widely considered at the time to be too good to be true.

Since then, however, Sargent and Shepard have been vindicated by much larger follow-up studies around the world.

The doctors took advantage of a short-lived indoor smoking ban in Helena to study the number of heart attacks treated here while the ban was in effect as compared to prior incidences before the ban. The difference was a staggering 38 percent.

Subsequent scientific studies of the impact of smoking prohibitions in the workplace and all public buildings in New York State, the whole of Ireland, Rome, and elsewhere found an average decrease of about 19 percent, still a huge (and hugely life-saving) improvement.

But how can such a large impact be possible?

Dr. Suzaynn Schick, a professor of medicine at the division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, was in Helena last week to take part in the third annual Montana Tobacco Policy Summit at Carroll College. According to Dr. Schick, who also visited the IR Editorial Board last week, recent research has found that chemicals in second-hand smoke quickly attack the lining of arteries, leading to a buildup of plaque that restricts blood flow, increases blood pressure, and can cause heart attacks.

Farewell, Marlboro Man
Writers on Range, Ben Long
Denver (CO) Post, 2005-04-24

I'm a sucker for the cowboy. My bookshelves sag under the weight of Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry novels. . . .

But even I was surprised when the 2005 Montana Legislature drew its six-shooter and plugged two great icons of the mythical West: the smoky old saloon and the beer can tossed in the ditch. . . .

The Cowboy Way has a libertarian streak as wide as I-90. After all, Montana is the state that for more than a year had no numeric speed limit. We could drive as fast as we wanted, as long as it was "reasonable and prudent." Montana eventually imposed a 75 mph speed limit, but only because the feds threatened to withhold millions in federal highway funds that keep our interstates from reverting back to buffalo trails.

Freedom is still a high card in the political poker hand. But a new card is in the deck: Responsibility.

Smoke ban signed
Helena (MT) Independent Record, 2005-04-19
Most Montana workplaces will be free of tobacco smoke starting Oct. 1, after Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Tuesday signed a bill calling for clean air in every place open to the public except bars and casinos.

Gambling establishments have until 2009 to comply with the law, which was the result of a compromise between tavern and gaming interests and several regional and national health groups…

Bronson Frick, associate director of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights in Berkeley, Calif., said Montana is among several states that are considering smoke-free laws this spring, including Georgia and North Dakota.

"Montana has been a leader in public tobacco issues for a number of years now, with the activity in Helena and the heart attack study that came out of Helena," he said.

Not everyone is happy with the compromise. While the bill had the support of the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society didn't lend its backing, because the bill prevents cities from enacting stronger laws during the four-year sunset period for casinos.

Frick said that clause gave his group pause as well.

"We are concerned about that provision because the tobacco companies prefer to fight at the state level and we believe local communities should be allowed to make their own choices," he said.

Court: State law doesn't prohibit local smoking ban
Billings Gazette, December 28, 2004
A state law intended to prohibit local governments from imposing smoking bans in gambling establishments has no force, the Montana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

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