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Messy outcome likely as can of worms opened in Grand Forks

| April 5, 2013

Since November and the passing of Measure 8, the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota, U.S., has areas within its outdoor parks where smoking is banned—a prohibition that park board commissioner Molly Soeby wants to extend to include all types of tobacco products.

According to a story by Ryan Bakken for the Grand Forks Herald, commissioner Jay Panzer responded to Soeby’s proposal with a broad grin and the words: “This is a ginormous can of worms.”

But, while acknowledging Panzer’s assessment, Soeby argued that chewing tobacco was damaging because it was an unhealthy habit in what should be a healthy environment.

“We look at parks as a way to make a community healthier,” she said. “There’s no way tobacco makes us healthier. Our community is becoming more healthy and it realizes what a problem tobacco is.”

Her tobacco-free bid presented to the other four commissioners was met with a lukewarm response. However, they didn’t turn her down. Instead, they agreed to conduct a survey of the users of their outdoor facilities.

The problem for chewing tobacco users, however, is that, as is usually the case in such circumstances, Soeby indicated that if she didn’t get her way, she would merely return to the issue next year.

Category: Breaking News

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