Hennepin County bans smoking everywhere, even its cars

Categories: Health

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Not as popular as it used to be.
Smokers aren't going to be welcome anywhere on Hennepin County property, including in county-owned vehicles, after commissioners approved a smoking ban by a 6-1 margin yesterday.

The goal of the measure is to just clear the air uniformly for all county property. It'll be interesting to see over time whether the move has an impact on the smoking rate in the county, which is already lower than state and national averages.

"People are free to smoke, just not on our property," commissioner Mike Opat told Fox 9.

The new rule builds on previous policies that banned smoking in, and within 45 feet, of all county buildings. And it affects an already ever-shrinking minority: 21 percent of adults in the county were smokers in 1998, but by last year that figure had dropped to just 12 percent. And even though there are now about 79,000 more adults living in the county compared to 1998, the actual number of smokers dropped by 64,000.

Not that county residents are the only ones affected by the ban. But statewide numbers show more and more Minnesotans in general are either kicking the habit or never taking it up in the first place, according to the latest Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey. The percentage of adult Minnesotans who smoke dropped to 16.1 percent in 2010 compared to 22.1 percent in 1999.

The Hennepin County smoking ban starts on July 1.

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6 comments
Prettyfunpen
Prettyfunpen

Really we are supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave well wheres our freedom when we are forced to make decisions because government forces the issues? How about our freedom of speech and freedom of choice? We get punished by more taxes and everything else the lower and medium classes do. But low and behold the rich just get richer and set free from thier obligations and who you all think pays for it we do yet im sure hardly of you ever really think about everything the rich and those in power get away with? This is no free country the lowely get told what to do as the rest live thier lives easily with golden spoons the rich do so those inbetween have fun paying cause we let the government get away with it but if everyone refused to go to work or pay for extra gas or cut down on things enough it send a message to them but then again it have to be a harsh one they would have to listen to no threats or hurting others just boy cotts

Trudy
Trudy

So, Commissioner Mike Opat, when you say people are free to smoke, just not on "our property", who do you think paid for "our property" - taxpayers! Smokers pay even more tax than non-smokers for our "sin"!

Scott
Scott

Even though I've been smoking for 45 years, I wish they would use the money they have to stop teen smoking. I have tried to quit repeatedly over the years and feel I'm being singled out and punished for something I was given free and started in the Army in Vietnam. To say the least, it helped with my nerves. How about a grandfather clause as I'm a totally disabled vet who has been told there is no inflation , consequently haven't gotten a cola in 3 years. Odd as I have to move to a 3rd world country to maintain my lower middle class existence. Funny I come home for surgery and see gas $1.00 more a gallon, coffee $1.00 more a pound and a pack of cigarettes almost $6.00. Funny how the people that are kicking each other out of the way to "honor the vets home" also vote to cut entitlements. VETERANS DISABILITY COMPENSATION IS AN ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM. Well, hello and goodbye.

URstupid
URstupid

You have to be some kind of nut to think they are going to send us to "summer camp" - but then again, given your disposition to anything meaningful, it's probably not surprising that they send you to those camps.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Awe, the "freedom" coming from the liberal mind.

So, how long do you think until they stuff us on train cars, destination - "summer camp"?

Just Sayin
Just Sayin

How about this: I'll start taking advice about "Freedom" from conservatives when they stop being obsessed with other people’s uteruses or who other people let manipulate their genitals in the privacy of their own home.

That said, this is a horrible nanny state rule that should have no place in a free society where people are adults and responsible for themselves and their own actions.

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