Cancer Advocates Celebrate Seven Years of North Dakota’s Smoke-free Air Law

December 6, 2019

BISMARCK, ND - The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and Tobacco Free North Dakota celebrate seven years of the statewide smoke-free law that protects all North Dakotans from secondhand smoke, including the aerosol from e-cigarettes.

On December 6, 2012, all public places and places of employment in the state became smoke-free. The law reflects the state’s commitment to protect the health of its citizens and recognizes the right of individuals to breathe smoke-free air. Through this law, North Dakota became one of the first of 19 states, two territories and 892 municipalities that also prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free places.

Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 70 known to cause cancer. This year, secondhand smoke will cause nearly 42,000 deaths among nonsmokers, including 7,300 lung cancer deaths.

“Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in our state. North Dakotans showed their strong support for smoke-free workplaces when they passed the 2012 Clean Indoor Air Law because they know secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard that causes cancer, heart disease and other serious conditions. No one should have to risk their health to earn a paycheck, no matter where they work,” said Government Relations Director of ACS CAN North Dakota, Deb Knuth.

The science is clear—there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Strong smoke-free laws are the only proven way to protect workers and patrons from secondhand smoke, while also helping people who currently smoke quit and keeping youth from starting altogether. It is a major victory that North Dakotans are committed to living in a smoke-free state.

To get involved in our efforts in North Dakota and share your cancer story, visit



The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit

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