MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance by a vote of six to one prohibiting e-cigarette use throughout the county wherever the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking. Additionally, the ordinance prohibits smoking and vaping within 25 feet of a building entrance, open window or ventilation intake.
"We applaud Ramsey County for protecting the public from secondhand smoke and e-cigarette aerosol," said Molly Moilanen, Director of Public Affairs at ClearWay Minnesota. "With this vote, 30 counties and cities have added e-cigarettes to their clean indoor air policies, meaning more than 35 percent of Minnesotans are now protected from the nicotine and other chemicals they put into the air. Now it's time for the Minnesota Legislature to take action and pass a statewide policy protecting all Minnesotans regardless of zip code."
The long-term health effects of using or being exposed to e-cigarettes are unknown, and there are conflicting studies and claims about their short-term safety. They are sold in candy and fruit flavors that appeal to youth. ClearWay Minnesota supports public policies restricting e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited and protecting children from nicotine exposure and addiction.
"We are also pleased to see Ramsey County further restrict smoking in public places," added Moilanen. "There is no safe level of secondhand smoke, and moving smoking areas away from places frequented by nonsmokers will ensure more Minnesotans can breathe clean air."
Tobacco is still a problem in Minnesota, as 5,100 Minnesotans die each year from tobacco-related diseases and smoking costs Minnesota nearly $3 billion in excess health care costs annually.
About ClearWay MinnesotaSM
ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement.
SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota