Rep. Phyllis Kahn to introduce bill restricting e-cigs during next legislative session

phyllis kahn rect.jpg
Nearly 40 years ago, Kahn authored the Clean Air Act. Now, she wants to lead the push for statewide regulation of e-cigs.
In recent months, e-cigarettes have become increasingly regulated at the business, municipal, and county level.

SEE ALSO: Rep. Phyllis Kahn on Seward voting lines: "Someone at the city should be executed"

But Rep. Phyllis Kahn, D-Minneapolis, isn't satisfied with that, and next legislative session, she plans to get the state involved.

Today, a press release distributed by the DFL House communications staff announced that Kahn is set to introduce a bill that would add e-cigs to the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, thereby banning their use in all public places, including offices, bars, and public transportation.

"Right now, we've got a patchwork system where local governments and even individual businesses make their own rules," Kahn says in the release. "It's creating a lot of confusion. My bill removes any doubt as to where e-cigarettes can be used by applying the same regulations we have for traditional tobacco products."

On the other side of the issue, e-cig supporters argue crackdowns like the one proposed by Kahn don't provide any sort of public health benefit while needlessly making life more difficult for those trying to quit smoking.

"People smoke for the nicotine, they die from the smoke," David Sweanor, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who works on tobacco and health issues, recently told the CBC.

Likewise, Dr. Peter Selby, chief of the addictions division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, argues government shouldn't get in the way of people who want to inhale smokeless tobacco unless e-cigs are demonstrated to have some sort of negative health consequence, which hasn't been proven at this point.

While acknowledging "we need a framework to study [e-cigs and their health implications] and understand it so we can actually tell smokers it is a safer option," Selby said, "Right now, it looks like we've got our head in the sand. If you take the nicotine out of the tobacco and only give people nicotine, the potential harm is likely very, very small."

But in the DFL's news release, Kahn -- the author of the Clean Air Act back in 1975 -- suggests Minnesota shouldn't wait around for the science of e-cigs to be settled.

"I think our cities and businesses are looking to the state of Minnesota for leadership on this issue," Kahn said. "We can remove a lot of the confusion we're seeing right now and bring more stability to this growing market."

"Our state is a leader when it comes to public health," she concluded. "My bill continues that tradition."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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183 comments
lucky19_82
lucky19_82

All u ppl complaining about breathing in the minute amount of unabsorbed nicotine from ecigs.. Give me a break! Sounds like u just need something to complain about so u chime in on a topic that hardly affects u. Concentrate on what does affect u .. Like sugary beverages and fattening fast food and leave our ecigs alone!!

Jeff Cawhorn
Jeff Cawhorn

I wasn't aware there is nicotine in coffee vapors. -That's enough to give me the vapors! It would be easier to avoid spiders than the e-cigarettes, especially if the latter is not regulated as are the regular kind Unless you give up going out to public spaces, which hardly seems reasonable.

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

Sandra, I am being pro-active by speaking out! We already fought the war on smoking in restaurants and bars ...I don't want to fight it again because people are now vaping instead of smoking. me and many others like me do not want to be exposed to nicotine....it does exist in the vapor which is why people are vaping....If people like me don't speak up things will go back to how they were...nicotine filled air everywhere.....nicotine is like bad speed when you're not addicted to it. I don't want my heart racing or to feel nauseous from someone else's addiction...vap if you want! but follow the smoking rules so you don't expose others to your vapors

sosmpls
sosmpls

Having a political  representative like Kahn should embarrass the entire state. 

Unfortunately, Minnesotans have no shame.

I can't wait to see which liberal toadys they elect this time!

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

I'd like to see your research on vapor not drifting! so you think it just stays there in place within a few inches of the vaper's face and never moves or spreads out into the room? beleve me it does and if your in an enclosed space with someone the nicotine levels in the air in the room rise

Stephen Cottingham
Stephen Cottingham

Most people just hide behind insults when they're wrong. Honestly, after I posted that I had a hunch I was wrong. No big deal, I'm human...I think

ryan.w.schmidt
ryan.w.schmidt

I don't smoke at all, ever. I don't like the smell of cigarettes and love that they've been banned from indoors. Its really amazing. Cigarettes also have been proven to be bad for the people smoking them and those in the same place. E-Cigs have not been proven to do anything to anybody using them, or the people around those that are using. Until that happens, then there shouldn't be any bans on E-Cigs. 


I would bet the tobacco industry is making a strong push in lobbying nationwide to crack down on E-Cigs.

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

I would also recommend that you stay out of coffee shops because all that vapor off of 'high-octane' caffeinated drinks might get to you as well.

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

And why do you care so much that you need to call her a name that has nothing to do with her opinion?

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

Lisa - Minnesota already prohibits sale of e-cigs to minors. I'm hypersensitive to spider bites. You know what I do? I stay away from spiders. Take responsibility for your own real or perceived hypersensitivity and anxiety. Try controlling your behavior rather than everyone elses.

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

I like you, Stephen, takes a strong person to admit they were wrong on the Internet. ;)

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

Are you sucking their face when they vap? Have you are been tested for hypersensitivity, or...errr...hypochondria? Vapor does not drift like smoke, so you need to get your tongue out of the vaper's mouth. sheesh.

Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin

Clark Crawford the moment hamburgers are troubling others with second-hand obesity. Get back to me

staff15
staff15

It's legal to sit next to someone while you have mono and cough on them, but smoking a water-vapor e-cig should be illegal? I had a cab driver once tell me I can't smoke an e-cig in his cab because of the smell. I told him it's blueberry and he didn't care. Sorry if I make your smelly cab smell like blueberries. People against e-cigs just don't understand them are idiotic enough to not educate themselves and try to get this sort of bill passed.

staff15
staff15

1. Look at this "woman's teeth" she looks like she used to smoke 2 packs a day, 

2. Government wasting our tax dollars on bullshit bills like this that will easily get passed , yet, are completely useless. 

3. Proponents behind the bill? Maybe envious cigarette companies , who coincidently, have bought up many e-cig companies?

4. We can ban e-cigs, but not get a good health care system bill passed and our government shuts down.

Clark Crawford
Clark Crawford

Who cares if it's harmful over time Matthew. Hamburgers are harmful over time. Not your problem.

Jose Hernandez
Jose Hernandez

What, are you laying your head on your friends' shoulders while they vape? Cool out, chick.

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

How does the bill provide stability in the industry? stfu and take a seat .

Aaron Mielke
Aaron Mielke

Cute Kendra. She's a man hater for sure. It doesn't affect me if she gets married. So I don't care. How does me hitting a ecig affect her. Why does she care?

James Cowart
James Cowart

which brand did you use mike? any local vapor stores in TC u recommend? I have been looking to make the switch for a month or so now!

Caleb Musselman
Caleb Musselman

"Our state is a leader when it comes to public health," she concluded. "My bill continues that tradition." | So she believes that this is a public health issue. Interesting.

Stephen Cottingham
Stephen Cottingham

My mistake. I thought it was ethylene glycol in e cigs, which would be toxic to humans. Instead its propylene glycol, which would be harmful in massive doses. Almost impossible to do. I don't fall for conspiracies, I just misread the article.

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

I have no problem with the flavors, I just don't want them sold to kids..... and getting sick is not BS! e cigs are nicotine delivery devices and there is nicotine in the vapors....when you breath them in you don't absorb 100% of the vapors and what comes out of you and the cig contain nicotine. Also, some of the ecigs are very high nicotine...i have a friend that vaps those and I have felt like i'm on bad speed when I've been around her....racing heart, nauseaus...if your not a nicotine addict it does effect you.....

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

it's common sense....do you really think that all the vapor coming out of the e-cig is absorbed by the person using it? ( I can see in pix it is not) ...and also do your really believe that the person inhaling absorbs 100% of the nicotine in the vapor? I do not think that is even possible to do. We do need studies done, however if you think about this and watch people with them you would realize there is no way that some nicotine is not getting into the surrounding air.

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

There is definately nicotine in the vapor. that is why most people vap them. and when you inhale on them youy do not absorb 100% of the nicotine in the vapor. There are very few studies done on e cigs...I'd love to see the ones your talking about. Post links please....

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

I am not ignorant adults can like flavors, kids REALLY like flavors like the fruity ones...What I want is sales restricted so kids can't buy them.

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

::doink:: the product used is FDA approved for food usage. Quit falling for conspiracy crap.

gingersnoww
gingersnoww

How about turning your attention to labels for GMO food Lady,  or perhaps you don't think the people of the US should have the rights the EU & others have...  which makes me wonder if you have stock in Monsanto and Tobacco companies.

Jack Skagnetti
Jack Skagnetti

We need somebody to fight for the rights of the smokers before everything is taken away from us. What's next, we can only smoke in a small metal box down an alleyway between 4-5 am? Get out of my lungs, you ugly manbitch!

Helder Francisco Vieira Gomes
Helder Francisco Vieira Gomes

There are two types of e-cigs: one has nicotine in it, the other doesn't. They should only be used to ween you off smoking, but it's a common courtesy that you shouldn't smoke them around people who aren't down with it. Just like you shouldn't eat balut in front of vegans. Or anyone for that matter.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Iron will is comendable. Straight stupidity is not. Know the difference.

kabbie1882
kabbie1882

@Lisa Smith The vapor from "e-cigarettes" is not harmful. Do a little research. There have been plenty of studies proving this.


mattblack612
mattblack612

@Lisa Smith Sorry.. 2nd page:

"
Therefore, suitable occupational exposure limits are 

created to attempt to protect individuals from such risk on the job, with no presumption of “assumed risk” inherent in 

the occupation. Likewise, special regulations are in effect to protect persons from unintentional exposure to nicotine in 

workplaces (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/81-123/pdfs/0446.pdf; accessed July 12, 2013), because in environments 

where such exposures are possible, it is reasonable to protect individuals who do not wish to experience its effects. In 

other words, occupational exposure limits are based on protecting people from involuntary and unwanted exposures, 

and thus can be seen as appropriately more stringent than the standards that might be used for hazards that people intentionally choose to accept. "

then in the conclusions you'll see that the research shows that the exhaled vapor does not exceed these standards.


kabbie1882
kabbie1882

@Lisa Smith Show me proof that "vapor" raises the nicotine level in a room. Then show me how that vapor is harmful to ANYONE including the person using it. 

weber.tyler
weber.tyler

@James Cowart Or if you're near the Whittier neighborhood try Green Machine on 24th and Nicollet, coolest guys in the world.

AHmySH
AHmySH

@James Cowart hit Smokeless Smoking! they have a new store in NE mlps. and a location in Bloomington as well!

kabbie1882
kabbie1882

@Lisa Smith Do you get this same feeling from someone who has a nicotine patch on or who is chewing nicotine gum?


westlund8811
westlund8811

@Lisa Smith There are studies done.  You just haven't done your homework.

The level of second hand nicotine is negligible, and should cause concern only to a schizophrenic.

Please stop running your mouth off when you haven't read through the numerous studies on vaping.

kabbie1882
kabbie1882

@Lisa Smith Why don't you take a few minutes to get off your "uneducated about e-cig" soapbox and use google?

If you know so much about e-cigs, you should be able to tell us about the research that proves there is "nicotine in the air" that causes you problems.

mattblack612
mattblack612

@Lisa Smith Like @kabbie1882 said, e-cigarette sales to minors are already prohibited under the 2010 tobacco modernization act.

in the state of minnnesota, e-cigarettes are considered a tobacco product.. and as such, it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18.

I can't believe I actually had to address this concern.


kabbie1882
kabbie1882

@Lisa Smith Sale to minors is already regulated.

Minors (people under 18) are not allowed to buy, use or possess e-cigs. 

tmusgrave19
tmusgrave19

@Lisa Smith You are ignorant. I've read your replies, and you can't even complete a full sentence without a handful of grammatical errors. Before you reply on a subject you know nothing about. Please educate yourself on the matter at hand. Because in the end, you just look like an uneducated fool. If you are getting sick from being around vapers, you should probably see a doctor, because you have other issues effecting you.

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