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The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality has a banner on its website, saying free radon tests are not available.

And there are reasons for that.

One is a testing program of schools for the odorless, colorless gas.

"We haven't tested North Dakota schools since the 90s," DEQ's Justin Otto said. "We felt it's time to go back to those schools and see what their radon levels are, because we want to make sure the kids, teachers and staff are safe."

ND tops the nation in lung cancer treatment

Nov 17, 2020
Courtesy Tobacco Free ND

A report from the American Lung Association says more people in North Dakota receive lung cancer treatment than anywhere else in the country.

And the report says while the survival rate in North Dakota is now 22.8%, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths. But it also says more indigenous people are being diagnosed with lung cancer.

It also says North Dakota is among the top for lung cancer screening and early diagnosis.

During several of his COVID-19 briefings, Gov. Doug Burgum would occasionally put in a pitch for people to quit smoking – or quit vaping.

"COVID-19 is a respiratory disease," Burgum said at one of the briefings. "There's never been a better time to quit smoking or quit vaping than right now."

So we wondered – if this pandemic may mean an increase in people accessing the ND Quit line. And the director of Tobacco Free North Dakota – Neil Charvat – said “yes.”

Smokes for the Boys

Nov 15, 2019

On this date in 1917, the Hope Pioneer ran picture of a check on the front page. The check was in the amount of $21.25. It was made out to the American Tobacco Company. The headline asked, “Do You Have an Interest in This Check?” The check, said the newspaper, meant “comfort for the boys in France.” The rather modest sum represented 85 smoking kits.

House defeats smoking in cars restriction

Jan 22, 2019

The North Dakota House has rejected a bill to make it illegal for adults to smoke in a car when children under the age of 9 are present.

The bill was sponsored by Fargo Democratic Representative Pamela Anderson. The measure would allow officers to pull over anyone seen smoking with young children in the vehicle and fine them $25.

It received a ‘do not pass’ recommendation from the House Human Services Committee.

A bill has been introduced in the North Dakota Legislature to prohibit people from smoking in a vehicle when a child under 9 years old is in that vehicle.

"Last session, we raised the age from 7 to 8 for when a child had to be in an appropriate restraint seat," said Rep. Pam Anderson (D-Fargo), the bill's main sponsor. "I was thinking, 'We buckle up the kids, then we get in the car and we light up cigarettes.'"

Anderson's bill would levy a $25 fine for people caught smoking with little children in the car.

A bill in the North Dakota Legislature would allow cigar smoking in "cigar bars."

Sen. Oley Larsen (R-Minot) said he introduced the bill on behalf of a constituent.

His bill would only permit cigars, and the bar has to generate 10 percent or more of its gross annual income from the sale of cigars.

"I've been to VIP bars where they smoke cigars," Larsen said. "It's a whole different type of atmosphere."

Larsen said this would be a niche bill.

"Smoking cigars is legal," Larsen said. "There's not a huge amount of people who rush to do it."

North Dakota is in the top 25 percent of states in both new lung cancer cases and lung cancer survival rates.

This according to the first ever "State of Lung Cancer" report done by the American Lung Association of North Dakota. Reba Mathern-Jacobson is director of tobacco control for the Lung Association in North Dakota. She says this report looks at rates of incidents of lung cancer, survival rates, rates of early diagnosis, surgery, and access to screening centers. She says the report helps North Dakota know where it stands.

Courtesy ND Legislature

03039 Breathe ND                                                   2-22-17 ddt

The Senate has voted to dissolve the Tobacco Control and Prevention agency.

That agency is funded by part of the so-called “master settlement” on a lawsuit states filed against big tobacco companies. Both the Dalrymple budget and the Burgum budget called for the agency’s elimination, and the duties to be transferred to the state Health department.

The agency was created by initiated measure passed by voters in 2008.

A coalition of North Dakota anti-smoking and health groups is asking the Legislature to continue the funding the state’s Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy.

The agency was created in 2008 by initiated measure. It’s funded through an additional settlement in a lawsuit against several big tobacco companies.