10-12th graders encouraged to apply for TFND Youth Board Seat

New to TFND is the addition of a TFND Youth Board Seat!

This position is open for ND 10th, 11th and 12th graders to apply. Each term will be one year. This person will not be a voting member of the
board but will be attending monthly meetings and presenting to our board about various topics, providing a valuable youth perspective to TFND and partners.

If you’re interested, please fill out this sheet Youth TFND Board Nomination Form

TFND Announces the Return of our Video Essay Scholarship Contest

WaPo: Many of today’s unhealthy foods were brought to you by Big Tobacco

Many industries mimic big tobacco’s marketing playbook because of how effective they were at hooking generations of people on their product. Now the Washington Post is reporting that influence goes much deeper than tobacco- it even includes the food we eat. 

Health advocacy groups encourage city leaders to prioritize health, well-being of Mandan residents, visitors by voting down cigar bar ordinance

Health advocacy groups encourage city leaders to prioritize health, well-being of Mandan residents, visitors by voting down cigar bar ordinance

MANDAN, N.D., Sept. 13, 2023 — The City of Mandan should uphold the state of North Dakota’s vision to make North Dakota the healthiest state in the nation by keeping cigar bars out of our community and follow the will of the voters who approved our state’s clean indoor law more than a decade ago.

This year, 4,370 state residents will be diagnosed with cancer and thousands more will be diagnosed with heart disease and stroke. Sadly, these diseases are the top killers in our state and caused more than 3,000 deaths in 2022. Cigar Lounges will lead to diminished health quality and a potential uptick in health care costs for all. There is no safe level of second-hand smoke, and studies have repeatedly shown there is no ventilation system capable of filtering out all smoke particles, exposing anyone who shares walls with a cigar lounge to dangerous secondhand smoke. Allowing cigar bars in our community would be a step backwards for the health of Mandan residents. Secondhand smoke from cigars poses significant health risks to people who smoke and those around them.

“We owe it to our youth and all our citizens to place public health concerns first,” said Greg Gallagher, a Mandan resident and American Heart Association volunteer. “Cigar bars offer limited and highly questionable value to our community. It should be rejected outright.”

Every county in the state voted in favor of the North Dakota Clean Indoor Air Law in 2012 and it remains a solid foundation for quality of life in Mandan and across the state. Since enacted in 2012, North Dakota has seen decreases in the percentage of residents who smoke and new cancer cases, according to Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health. In addition, the current smoke-free law treats everyone equally and is consistent and fair. Nobody should have to choose between a job and long-term health, which is clearly put at greater risk with any exposure to carcinogens and other harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Everyone has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air, regardless of where they live, work, or play.

“Reintroducing tobacco use into public places, like cigar lounges, will increase the exposure to secondhand smoke, increase the number of people using tobacco and potentially raise the number of local people who develop long term health issues from tobacco,” said Joyce Sayler, a Mandan resident and retired nurse.

Tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the U.S., and smoking is now linked to at least 15 types of cancers. In fact, 27 percent of cancer deaths in North Dakota are attributed to smoking. It is also a leading risk factor for the development of heart disease and stroke. Cigars are bad for your health whether consumed directly or exposed through second-hand smoke. According to the American Thoracic Society, smoking one large cigar can be the same as smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.

Beyond the public health concerns, there is no proven economic benefit from cigar bars:

  • Smoke-filled environments have been proven to have a negative impact. Absenteeism, loss of productivity, increased maintenance and insurance costs negatively affect bottom lines.
  • A smoke-filled cigar bar will not improve tourism. As noted by J.D. Power and Associates, 87 percent of guests prefer a smoke-free hospitality environment.
  • Very few cigar bars pay living wages. The average wage for a cigar bar employee is $24,000. Poverty wages for a family of four in ND is around $27,750.
  • Healthcare costs related to smoking in ND are $326 million and costs the tax-payer an average of $916 per household in smoking-caused state and federal expenditures.

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TFND joined this release in partnership with American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation.

France planning to ban disposable vapes in effort to combat smoking

France is planning to ban disposable vapes as part of a broader strategy to curb smoking and vaping in the country. You can read about their full strategy by clicking here.

WHO: 7 in 10 People Worldwide are Protected by at Least One Tobacco Control Measure

A new World Health Organization (WHO) report highlights that 5.6 billion people – 71% of the world’s population – are now protected with at least one best practice policy to help save lives from deadly tobacco – five times more than in 2007. This is fantastic news and shows we can work toward a world where people willingly reject tobacco. We will continue working until a tobacco free generation is reality!

Help Us Celebrate Quit Week 2023!


It’s Quitting Time. Quit Week is back for the fourth straight year in North Dakota to encourage commercial tobacco and alternative nicotine product users to make June 11-17 their time to be Tobacco Free in 2023.

Tobacco Free North Dakota and cessation partners of North Dakota Health and Human Services encourage all cigarette, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarette or vape, or nicotine pouch users in North Dakota to set a quit date.

Those using commercial tobacco are more likely to successfully stop using when supported – whether by coaching or medication use. Entities like a healthcare provider, pharmacist, NDQuits, or a local public health unit can help develop a quit plan and provide resources to greatly improve a user’s odds of success. Quit plans prepare those who use tobacco products to manage cravings and change routines to avoid triggers to become and stay tobacco-free.

NDQuits provides additional support through personal coaching and nicotine replacement therapy medication. Free nicotine patches, nicotine gum, or nicotine lozenges are provided to qualified enrollees. Connect with NDQuits at  https://www.hhs.nd.gov/ndquits or 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

To promote Quit Week messaging, follow Tobacco Free North Dakota’s Facebook page.

TFND Announces Winners of Special Video Essay Scholarship

We are proud to announce our winning video for our special edition Video Essay Scholarship Contest. This year’s winner is Jordyn from Wilton High School! Jordyn’s video focused on the importance of maintaining our smoke-free air law.
Along with Jordyn’s grand prize video, the TFND Board approved 3 more submissions for honorable mention prizes. They are:
Payton from Sheyenne High School
Karsten from St. Mary’s Central High School
Althea from Minot High
We thank all of our entrants this year for a great competition. You can watch the winning videos on our YouTube page

KFYR TV-A look back at ten years of Smoke Free ND

This story was done by KFYR-TV to honor the 10-year anniversary of North Dakota’s smoke-free air. Dr. Eric Johnson, one of TFND’s esteemed board members, was interviewed for the piece. To read the full story, click here.

TFND Announces Special Edition of Video Essay Scholarship Contest

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the passage North Dakota’s Smoke-Free Air Law, Tobacco Free North Dakota is announcing a special version of our Video Essay Scholarship Contest for all ND high school seniors. TFND is a statewide non-profit that advocates for policies to prevent youth initiation to tobacco and nicotine products with the goal of creating North Dakota’s first tobacco free generation. North Dakota High school seniors will have the opportunity to compete for a $1500 college scholarship. To participate students must submit a 1-3 minute video based on topics chosen by TFND. The contest is open to all high school seniors. This edition’s topics are:

• The importance of maintaining the state’s strong smoke-free air law.

• The smoke-free air law has been in place for 10 years! Many of the entrants in this contest probably don’t remember the “singers in a smoky room” restaurants. Interview your family, friends, and community members about what it was like when there was smoking in public, indoor spaces.

• Every single county voted in favor of the smoke-free air law in 2012, yet special interest groups are the ones trying to overturn it. How would you educate the community about what is going on?

• Secondhand smoke is dangerous to everyone exposed to it, and causes billions of dollars in healthcare costs nationally every year, yet it receives only a fraction of the attention that other tobacco dangers do. Show us why #SecondhandSmokeisNoJoke


To read more about the contest rules, please read our SMOKE-FREE AIR LAW VESC Contest Packet