SD's expanded smoking ban will take effectSIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota voters on Tuesday approved a law expanding the state's indoor smoking ban to bars, video lottery establishments and Deadwood casinos.
By: Dirk Lammers, The Associated Press
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota voters on Tuesday approved a law expanding the state's indoor smoking ban to bars, video lottery establishments and Deadwood casinos.
With more than half of precincts reporting, the measure was passing 65 percent to 35 percent.
The law will go into effect Nov. 10, the day after the election is expected to be certified.
Lawmakers in 2009 voted to extend the state's current ban on smoking in most workplaces and public areas, but a coalition of bars and gambling businesses gathered enough signatures to force a statewide vote.
Supporters called Referred Law 12 a public safety issue, saying the measure will protect workers from secondhand smoke exposure, which causes heart disease and lung cancer.
Opponents argued that it will take away the personal rights of business owners who choose to cater to customers who smoke.
The 2009 Legislature passed the expanded smoking ban to take effect on July 1, 2009. Owners of bars and casinos submitted petition signatures to refer it to a vote, but the matter went to court after Secretary of State Chris Nelson ruled that enough signatures were invalid to keep it off the ballot.
After a lengthy legal battle, a judge last November cleared the way for it to be put on the ballot.
Both sides have also cited financial effects of the ban.
Opponents said South Dakota is already having trouble balancing its budget, and they expect a drop in state revenue if people are forced to go outside the bar to smoke or don't show up at all.
Supporters said smoking bans are revenue neutral or positive for businesses, and the law will reduce health care costs stemming from cancer, heart attacks and respiratory disease.