The city of Minneapolis will consider banning the use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants and bars.
Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon plans to introduce an amendment that would expand the definition of "smoking" in city ordinances to include e-cigarettes. Gordon says while the devices emit no smoke, they still pose the potential for harm.
"There's definitely a vapor there. There's certainly nicotine in there. But there's also probably things beyond nicotine that are in there, too," he said. "So we are certainly having our health department review it and look into it. And the health department is also recommending that we treat these the same at this point as tobacco products."
The state Association for Nonsmokers says 10 Minnesota cities, including Edina, Mankato and Duluth already ban the indoor use of e-cigarettes. Beltrami and Houston counties have also passed bans. The state Legislature this year banned e-cigarette use in hospitals, daycares and many government-owned buildings. But unlike traditional tobacco products, there's no law against using them at most private businesses.