New Minnesota Law Bans Vaping in Most Indoor Public Places
The Law Goes Into Effect This Thursday
MINNESOTA – The Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act protects the public from the health hazards of secondhand smoke.
A new law prohibits using e–cigarettes and vaping devices in most indoor spaces.
The law is an extension of the Freedom to Breathe Act, which forbids the smoking of traditional cigarettes in restaurants, offices, schools and nearly all indoor spaces.
The Act was established to protect people from secondhand smoke. Now, some health officials say vaping is the new enemy.
“Vaping is a new encroachment on our ability to breathe clean air. If you are not standing there using the vape but you’re inhaling the aerosol, you’re going to be at risk of the chemicals in your body as well,” said Jason McCoy of Clay County Public Health.
“There is a common misconception that vaping has a secondhand effect. It doesn’t even have a firsthand effect. That’s why it’s vaping and not smoking,” said Jason Bye of Northland Vapor Company.
The only types of vaping devices excluded from this law are ones prescribed by your doctor, meaning they’re FDA–certified to be nicotine replacement therapy.
But some say even non–prescription vapes helped them wean off cigarettes.
“It was really hard at first, obviously, to quit smoking but vaping made it quite easy. When you switch from a terrible burning plant matter base to a delightful flavor vape, and after enough time, you can tone down the nicotine in vaping products, whereas you can’t with cigarettes,” said Bye.
But even devices that have zero nicotine are still covered by this law.
“Because by federal law, anything that’s vaporized through one of these devices is still considered a tobacco–related device.”
If there is one thing both sides agree on, it’s that there needs to be more awareness and better parenting.
“This past Christmas, we had reports of parents who didn’t realize that Juul, for example, was addictive and went out and bought a vape and gave it to their kids as a Christmas present because in their mind, it was like buying the latest iPhone. They thought they had done something good for their kid,” said McCoy.
“Right now, a lot of people are worried about throwing the kids under the bus, as they say, but generally that’ll come down to parenting, people being more informed about what the products are and what the health impacts could be,” said Bye.