Smoking restrictions at Minnesota State Fair in 2013 - KMSP-TV

Smoking restrictions at Minnesota State Fair in 2013

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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Minnesota State Fair is cracking down on smoking at the Great Minnesota Get-Together with the creation of designated smoking areas that will ban smoking at the rest of the fairgrounds.

The State Fair's board of managers approved the new smoking restrictions at its annual meeting last weekend, at which they also approved $6 million in maintenance and improvements.

The number and locations of designated smoking areas have not been determined.

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Minnesota State Fair spokeswoman Brienna Schuette told the Star Tribune that officials studied the plans of Disney World and other state fairs in creating their own smoking restrictions.

Smoking was already banned inside State Fair buildings and concert venues. Smokeless tobacco will still be allowed with no restrictions.

Total attendance for the 2012 Minnesota State Fair added up to 1,788,512 people, making it the second-best-attended fair in history – just 1,985 people shy of the 2009 record.

SLIDESHOW: 2012 Minnesota State Fair photos

The fair's general manager told FOX 9 News the move is partially in response to an incident where a 2-year-old girl was poked in the eye by a burning cigarette last year; however, officials also say they are following the trend of other state fairs and amusement parks like Disney World, which have had smoking restrictions for years.

The change is a sign of the times for anti-smoking groups like Clear Way Minnesota, which says smoking restrictions in outdoor areas is part of a larger trend.

Officials are still working out how many smoking areas there will be and where they will be located. They plan to spend about $50,000 to put them in place.

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