Bills to restrict the use and sale of e-cigarettes and to make Minnesota’s foster homes smoke-free have been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature. ClearWay Minnesota supports these proposals.
The effects of e-cigarettes for people who inhale them or are near the secondhand vapor are unknown. One bill would prohibit their use in all places covered by the Freedom to Breathe Act, Minnesota’s smoke-free law. Another would require the devices to be sold behind the counter and would penalize retailers who sold them to minors.
A poll funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in February found that Minnesotans strongly support including e-cigarettes in policies that restrict smoking in public places. Seventy-nine percent said they support prohibiting e-cigarette use in places where smoking is already banned. The poll also found that 98 percent of Minnesotans support prohibiting e-cigarette sales to minors, and 87 percent feel e-cigarettes should be kept behind the counter in stores.
A third bill is aimed at making all foster-care homes in Minnesota smoke-free. Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke, which is known to cause asthma attacks, ear infections and other health problems among kids.