House Committee to Debate Bill Banning Sale of E-Cigs to Minors

Updated: 03/05/2014 11:11 AM
Created: 03/05/2014 8:21 AM
By: Jennie Olson

Minnesota could soon become the latest state to limit where e-cigarettes can be smoked and who can use them.

A bill banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors is set to be debated by a House committee on Wednesday. A Senate version of the bill, which also prohibits e-cigarettes from being used indoors and public spaces, cleared a Senate panel Monday.

Those who support the ban say the devices are a new way to get kids hooked on nicotine, while others say the e-cigarettes help people quit smoking.

The Minneapolis Health Department is also asking the Minneapolis City Council to support a move to have e-cigarettes added to Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act. The act currently bans smoking in bars, restaurants and bowling alleys. It also bans smoking in all workplaces, but it does not include e-cigarettes.

According to Democratic Rep. Phyllis Kahn, more than two-dozen Minnesota cities and counties have implemented restrictions on e-cigarette use in public places. Some of those with restrictions include Mankato, Duluth and Hennepin County.

The Minneapolis Health Department declined to speak on this issue until March 7, which is when the city council will likely adopt some policy around whether to support this change in their legislative agenda. 

In this April 19, 2013 file photo, a sampling of electronic cigarette supplies are seen in a shop in Oklahoma City.
Photo: AP/Sue Ogrocki, File

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