Smoke-free Air for Everyone Coalition
Improve the health of the citizens of Cass County through education and strategies designed to eliminate the use of tobacco products and exposure to the harmful effects of tobacco.
The SAFE Coalition, formerly known as the Fargo-Cass Tobacco Prevention Network, was formed in 2002 to address concerns related to tobacco use and workplace exposure to secondhand smoke in Cass County. The coalition is comprised of representatives from twelve organizations including healthcare, various non-profits and schools. Concerned citizens make up nearly one third of SAFE membership.
Starting in 2003, SAFE began working toward eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke in restaurants in the cities of Fargo and West Fargo. Local ordinances passed in both cities in 2004, making it illegal to smoke in restaurants that allowed minors to enter the premises. In 2006 there was a successful statewide movement that mirrored the accomplishments of Fargo and West Fargo. In 2007 SAFE began the task of working toward comprehensive smoke-free ordinances for all public workplaces, including bars, truck stops and public access rentals/leases in Fargo and West Fargo. Collaboration with a citizen group called ‘Share the Air’ resulted in an initiated measure for comprehensive smoke-free ordinances being placed on the June 2008 ballots in both communities. Both measures passed: the Fargo vote indicated that 61% of voters were supportive of a comprehensive ordinance and the West Fargo vote indicated that 57% of those voters felt the same way.
Both ordinances went into effect in July 1, 2008.