Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Hennepin County’s new e-cig ban is stricter than state law

The county board voted 6-1 to treat e-cigs just like cigarettes, banning them in nearly all indoor spaces; state law doesn’t go that far.

Hennepin County commissioners have passed an e-cigarette ban that’s even stricter than state law.

The new rules, effective in March, will treat e-cigs the same as regular cigarettes, prohibiting their use in nearly all indoor public spaces, including work places, restaurants and bars. The state law bans e-cigs from some indoor places, including government buildings, public schools, day care centers and most health facilities.

Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who ran for governor in November, was the only opposing vote.

Commissioner Marion Greene had pushed the measure, and said after the vote:

Article continues after advertisement

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Minnesota, and this change is a necessary step in protecting the right of Minnesotans to breathe clean air. We are also committed to health for our youngest populations. Nicotine is addictive, affects youth brain development. E-cigarette flavors are heavily targeted to youth and normalize smoking behavior.

Betsy Brock, research director for the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota, said she hopes other counties and cities, and eventually the state, follow Hennepin County’s lead on the stricter e-cig rules.