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Bill restricting e-cigarettes heads to Gov. Dayton

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A wide ranging health policy bill that bans indoor tanning use by children and puts greater restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes is on its way to Gov. Mark Dayton.

The House and Senate passed the bill tonight. It would ban the use of e-cigarettes in government buildings, in schools and on the campuses of the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The measure would not ban e-cigarettes in bars and restaurants. Rep. Laurie Halverson, DFL-Eagan, said it’s a good first step, but she would have preferred a wider ban.

“These are not safe devices," Halverson said. "They contain known carcinogens. If you are near somebody who is smoking an electronic cigarette, you will be exposed to known carcinogens including formaldehyde.”

The bill would also allow cities and counties to ban the use of e-cigarettes. Critics say the science isn’t there to prove vapors emitted from e-cigarettes cause harm.

But Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, said he considers the bill government overreach.

"It tells us that we can't use a new technology that has emerged in certain ways and certain places," Drazkowski said. "A technology in e-cigarettes that not one person that we aware of has died from nor is there demonstrable evidence to show that it is a problem."

Governor Dayton has said he supports the bill.