E-cigarettes will soon be included in the smoking ban in Hennepin County. The ban prohibits smoking at places of employment, restaurants and bars in Hennepin County.
Using certain electronic cigarettes at high temperature settings could potentially release more formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical, than smoking traditional cigarettes does, new lab tests suggest. The research does not prove a health risk — it involved limited testing on just one brand of e-cigarettes and was done in test tubes, not people. It also does not mean e-cigarettes are better or worse than regular ones; tobacco smoke contains dozens of things that can cause cancer.
With the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, many cities are taking action to ban the use of them in certain places. On Monday night, the City of Bloomington passed an ordinance banning e-cigarette users from lighting up in most public indoor spaces.
Minnesota’s first regulations for electronic cigarettes are a step from becoming law. By wide margins, the Legislature adopted a health policy bill Thursday night most notable for the e-cigarette rules.
Minnesota senators have voted for a stringent set of electronic cigarette standards that would make their use unacceptable in any place regular tobacco is disallowed. The approach endorsed Thursday goes further than a House companion bill, so the two measures must be reconciled for any e-cigarette regulations to become law. A move to pare back the indoor air restrictions in the Senate bill failed on a 35-28 vote.
Supporters of defining electronic cigarettes in the same light as traditional tobacco products won a key round Monday in the Minnesota Legislature. By an 11-8 vote, lawmakers pushing for tough regulations on the fast-spreading devices defeated an effort to pare back their bill.
A Minnesota legislator is now proposing a bill that would put e-cigarettes across under the same state-wide restrictions as cigarettes. The bill from DFL State Rep. Phyllis Kahn would limit the use of e-cigarettes under the Minnesota Clean Indoor Act.
Minnesota’s new $1.60-per-pack sales tax increase on cigarettes begins next week. Meanwhile, retailers are betting smokers will try to switch to a tobacco product not subject to the state’s tobacco taxes: electronic cigarettes.