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E-Cigarette Proposal Receives First Hearing

[MMA News Now, Feb. 27, 2014] On Feb. 26, the House Health and Human Services Policy committee considered two bills that would place stricter regulations on e-cigarette devices.

The bills, authored by Rep. Laurie Halvorson (DFL – Eagan) and Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL – Minneapolis), called for prohibiting e-cigarette use indoors just as state law bars the use of combustible tobacco in most indoor public places. However, after hearing opposition, the committee cut the inclusion of e-cigarettes into the state’s Freedom to Breathe Act.

The committee did, however, approve stipulations that would require retailers to keep the products behind store counters, enhance local enforcement of retailing regulations and prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in schools.

The House version (HF 1931) was passed as amended and referred to the House State Government Operations Committee. The Senate companion (SF 2027), authored by Sen. Kathy Sheran (DFL – Mankato), is expected to receive its first hearing March. 

Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, M.D., as well as representatives from a coalition of public health advocates, of which the MMA is a member, testified in support of the proposals, arguing that legislation is needed to preserve the integrity of the state’s clean indoor air quality standards. They also cited the lack of significant study on the devices. 

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2 comments on article "E-Cigarette Proposal Receives First Hearing"

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Dan Maddox

2/28/2014 11:33 AM

Actually, although the papers are only very recently published, there is data rapidly emerging on adverse consequences of exposure to c-cig vapors. The issue which deserves greatest focus, however, is the fact that unlike other nicotine supplements used to help smokers quit, the pharmacodynamics of the e-cig delivery devices are as or more addictive than regular tobacco cigarettes. Coupled with widespread acceptance, this virtually ensures a rapidly expanding population of youth addicted to nicotine. This must not be allowed to happen.


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Elizabeth Weir

3/1/2014 11:08 AM

My great concern is the implicit marketing to children with candy flavored e-cigaarettes. To addict young people early in order to ensure a future market for a product cannot be condoned by society, and strong restrictions must be put in place to prevent it from happening.

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