E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices used to inhale nicotine and other chemicals. Several Minnesota cities have restricted their sale and use, and state lawmakers have proposed adding them to the Freedom to Breathe Act.
At ClearWay MinnesotaSM, we support efforts to include these products in public policies that apply to cigarettes. There is not yet a body of evidence on the effects of using or being around e-cigarettes, and allowing an unknown substance to be used in indoor public places would be a step backwards for clean air. We also know that e-cigarettes are sold in candy and fruit flavors that are proven to have appeal for youth.
A poll funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in February of 2014 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.