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A strict ban on smoking in places where the public works or congregates will go into effect Saturday throughout Genesee County.

The Legislature in September tightened a no-smoking policy that had been adopted three months earlier.

The original local law prohibits smoking in all enclosed areas, ranging from restrooms to the dining areas of restaurants. Bars and taverns, bowling alleys and bingo halls are exempt, although separate ventilated areas must be provided in bowling lanes and bingo halls.

The legislation was broadened later to apply to all county buildings and vehicles.

Exceptions were the county Nursing Home and Mental Health clinic where banning smoking might affect a patient's ability to adjust.

Failure to comply will bring a warning for the first offense, and fines of up to $500 for repeated violations.

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