Minnesota Town Making It Easier for Smokers to Use E-Cigs

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Minnesota Town Making It Easier for Smokers to Use E-Cigs

04/01/2015

SPRING LAKE PARK, Minn. — Despite a national trend to tighten controls on electronic cigarette use, this Minnesota town is taking steps to loosen the reins.

Officials in Spring Lake Park are amending the town's tobacco ordinance to clearly state that e-cigarettes are allowed for indoor use. This is opposite of what other municipalities across the state have done. For example, Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington and Duluth have all banned electronic cigarette users from vaping indoors, according to a report by WDAZ.

"If I could take back anything I ever did in my life that was stupid, I'd have never started smoking cigarettes," said City Councilman Bob Nelson, a long-time smoker.

By using an e-cigarette, he says he went from a pack a day to a pack a week. "I'm just hoping that by doing this, it's used the right way, and it gives people the tools to get off them damn cigarettes," he said.

Not everyone holds that view, however, according to the news report. The Minnesota Department of Health has raised concerns about the marketing of e-cigarettes to youths. The department cited a 2014 survey that showed 28.4 percent of high-school students had tried e-cigarettes and 57.4 percent of high-school students had seen TV ads for e-cigarettes within the last 30 days.

Spring Lake Park's revised ordinance could pass next month.