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Austin officials approve e-cigarette ban

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Austin is the latest city in Minnesota to ban the public use of electronic cigarettes.

The Austin City Council voted Monday to approve a law that prohibits e-cigarettes from places where smoking already is prohibited. 

"It basically applies to the same places as tobacco, smoking and that sort of thing," City Administrator Craig Clark said. "So, [in] public places and businesses, those same restrictions will now apply to e-cigarettes in Austin."

Austin joins Minneapolis, Duluth, Bloomington and Edina in banning the devices in public places.

The new law in Austin replaces a moratorium on e-cigarettes that expires April 1. It also will apply to hookahs and other smoking devices. 

"The public generally has solidly endorsed the ban on smoking in public places," Clark said. "So that carried forward, I think, as well."