Published on August 23rd, 2013 | by Trick0
ALA Gunning Against E-Cigs in Minnesota
Two members of the city council of Duluth Minnesota, Jennifer Julsrude and Linda Krug, are pushing for greater regulation of electronic cigarettes in their city. New legislation would require sellers of e-cigs to acquire a tobacco license, and the use of electronic cigarettes would be banned in all of the places traditional cigarettes are prohibited, and prohibit sampling.
A member of the American Lung Association, Jill Doberstein, helped the council members draft the agenda. Krug calls the ability to use electronic cigarettes indoors a “loophole.”
“It really wouldn’t impact any of our existing tobacco shops. [The amendment] would just say that you could not open a hookah lounge and call it sampling; You couldn’t open an e–cigarette vaping lounge and call it sampling.”
The problem, of course, is that there is no loophole to be closed when it comes to electronic cigarettes. Existing laws were designed to protect the public from health risks associated with second-hand exposure to the toxins and carcinogens emitted by tobacco combustion. With electronic cigarettes, these chemicals are not produced, and there is a growing amount of evidence confirming that there are no second-hand risks to bystanders in the presence of vapers. While there is likely a danger from hookahs, which do burn tobacco, it is simply misleading to lump electronic cigarettes into the same category.
Unfortunately, cities like Duluth seem quick to rely on ALA members like Doberstein, and it seems that more and more often we’re hearing of local governments falling for their misinformation hook, line and sinker.