Minnesota, Wisconsin taking opposite approach to e-cig regulations

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Right now, e-cigarettes are essentially unregulated in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, meaning individual businesses can decide whether or not to allow vaping inside their premises.

SEE ALSO: E-cig charger explodes, burning hole in Minnesota author's car [PHOTO]

Bills addressing that state of affairs have been introduced in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, but each takes a very different approach to regulating e-cigs.

As we told you about in November (see link below), Rep. Phyllis Kahn, D-Minneapolis, has introduced a bill that would ban e-cigs from being vaped in indoor public places by adding them to Minnesota's Clean Indoor Air Act. A companion bill in the Senate has already made it through two committee hearings.

But over in Wisconsin, the Republican-controlled legislature is considering a bill that would exempt e-cigs from the state's smoking ban and allow people to vape in bars, restaurants, and lodging establishments. The bill's author, Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend -- the same guy who last year said of Kwanzaa, "It's time it's slapped down once and for all" -- expects it to pass without significant opposition next legislative session, if not this year.

With the health implications of e-cigarettes still up for debate, the respective bills illustrate the opposing regulatory approaches states are taking. Should e-cigs be given the benefit of the doubt, or not?

THE E-CIG FILES:
-- Rep. Phyllis Kahn to introduce bill restricting e-cigs during next legislative session
-- Rainbow Health Initiative comes out against e-cigs
-- E-cigs banned at Target Field
-- E-cigarette shop owner compares vaping to farting
-- Hennepin County bans e-cigs


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


My Voice Nation Help
79 comments
Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

No, e-cigs should be regulated like regular cigarettes. We don't need to fight the "smoking wars' all over again. They contain nicotine and who knows what else. You can see by pix of people vaping them that all the vapor is not inhaled....it goes out into the room and if someone is sitting next to the person vaping they are engulfed in it. Let people smoke them outside or in their own homes. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man....non-vapors should not be exposed to it unless they choose to be. Choice is lost when you give the rights to the air to the smokers and vapors.

Lisa
Lisa

No,  e-cigs should be regulated like regular cigarettes.  We don't need to fight the "smoking wars' all over again.  They contain nicotine and who knows what else. You can see by pix of people vaping them that all the vapor is not inhaled....it goes out into the room and if someone is sitting next to the person vaping they are engulfed in it.  Let people smoke them outside or in their own homes. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man....non-vapors should not be exposed to it unless they choose to be.  Choice is lost when you give the rights to the air to the smokers and vapors.

Paul Whyte
Paul Whyte

Ummm...I think smoking began sometime before the middle ages. You'll find a way to break it to them.

Paul Whyte
Paul Whyte

More like 10 years ago...but yeah.

Paul Whyte
Paul Whyte

Have you been to a show with a fog machine? Unless the person is literally giving you CPR between drags on a ecig, there is nothing really to worry about. Have you been stuck in traffic? You're breathing in more harmful things.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

I don't have an opinion one way or another about ecigs but I find it ironic that legislators would ban them from bars. We're talking about rooms full of people destroying their liver and maybe other organs and then swerving home in their cars as if they are so concerned for their own health. LMAO

tim.brackett
tim.brackett

They have done the research and second-hand vapor contains nicotine. No one should have to inhale nicotine because the person next to them is so addicted to nicotine they have to use their e-cig indoors!

As an ex-smoker, I also do not want to inhale nicotine when I am in a public, indoor place. I struggled for years to finally quit nicotine and don't want the temptation to relapse that comes with inhaling nicotine from second-hand vapors.

Patrick Daniel Mulvehill
Patrick Daniel Mulvehill

To Steve Adams, water pipes? Really? It's not pot, it's a water vapor that evaporates with a minuscule amount of nicotine to help anyone trying to quit. It's not up to you to or the govt, it should be solely on the business to decide. Why? Because ppl like you don't know the facts about this product and shouldn't have a voice. Read up before you spit garbage at ppl.

Patrick Daniel Mulvehill
Patrick Daniel Mulvehill

Haven't had a cig in about a year because of vaping. BY FAR the best alternative besides cold turkey. I'm very respectful to business owners, usually when I vape in an establishment it's later on in the night anyways. I don't vape in front of kids and I don't condone the sale to minors, nor do I think 99% of vapers. Plain and simple, it's a fad that caught on and the govt/big tobacco is trying to cash in. Example: Marijuana

Troy Curfman
Troy Curfman

only failing a losing battle. where are you going to get your next tax $$ if you cut off the supply. Think

Steve Adams
Steve Adams

They need to be banned as much as cigarettes. We allow these to be used in indoor public buildings and then we will be seeing water pipes too. No one wants to see either activity anymore than traditional smoking or smell the odors while having a meal or evening out.

Ben RickJames Rickel
Ben RickJames Rickel

If MN found a way to tax ecigs somehow, they would be perfectly legal. It's all about $. The state doesn't get tax $ with the sale of a vape pen or nicotine "juice." They get tax $ from tobacco. So, while the heads of state will claim they are concerned for citizens' health, they are really trying to ban something that takes away from their tax income.

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

I can assure Sen. Grothman there will be "significant opposition" to his ill-advised bill.

I can also assure my fellow Minnesotans that when e-cigarette legislation becomes law in our state, the sky will not fall, liberty will remain and adults, if they choose to, can buy and use e-cigarettes....just not in indoor workplaces.  There is another bill that would keep these smelly gizmos out of the hands of kids, which I think we can all agree on.

Remain calm and carry on, citizens. It's going to be alright.

Jedd Peters
Jedd Peters

Good Wisconsin makes lots of bad decisions. Glad to be in Minnesota

Chris Peden
Chris Peden

I work in a warehouse and you can run a semi. But you can't smoke a e-cig. People need to wake up! Minnesota is full of dumb asses!

Carter Matthew Eggen
Carter Matthew Eggen

Monica Green I'm sorry for those who make poor choices. Most of us vapers are very respectful when it comes to public usage.

Carter Matthew Eggen
Carter Matthew Eggen

I think they need to do research before they ban anything. Instead of using all this energy trying to ban them, use that energy to get them researched. If you're right about them (you're not) they'll be that much easier to ban. It's all a money game people.

Adam Slushoos
Adam Slushoos

Waaaaaaaa boohoo who cares you big pussy farts

Jason Thomas Borneman
Jason Thomas Borneman

I agree with letting be up to the establishment. And ecigs do affect people, for instance, when I'm sitting at the bar and the inconsiderate person to my left is trying their hardest to blow out a huge plume of fruity pebble vapor that lingers around me with a stale taste of bad childhood memories... almost as annoying as the sulfur smell coming from the same guys rear end... Also chill out on the axe spray, we're not in middle school anymore, if you want to go to grown up places, please act like it.

Sean White
Sean White

Thank you Patrick Dean Swanson that is a valid point! It is a parents job to teach their children their beliefs, not the state or federal governments responsability!

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours

IT WE CAN'T VAPE EVERYWHERE 24/7 THEN WE ARE BEING CONSTITUTIONALLY RAPED BY THE MAN!

Patrick Dean Swanson
Patrick Dean Swanson

Smoking e-cigs in front of kids? Is that really a serious issue? 30 years ago people were cigarette smoking EVERYWHERE... It is not society's job to hide these practices or to explain them to your kids... It's your job to explain them to your kids.

Twyla Hill
Twyla Hill

Leave them alone, they did themselves and the world around them by quitting tobacco. Thank them for it, don't condemn and tax em for doing a good deed.

Jeff Huinker
Jeff Huinker

Funny thing is, I'll still so it in public no matter what. If you do it right, no-one around you can tell you're actually doing it. That's how stupid the ban is.

palooze
palooze

I couldn't think of a group of humans less qualified to make decisions like these than our legislature. 

chrisfl
chrisfl

We already gave the tobacco industry the benefit of the doubt on the health impact of their products. For fifty years, the tobacco industry lied about the risks of their products for users and bystanders, killing hundreds of thousands of people a year and addicting millions more. 

Now the tobacco industry (biggest single seller of electronic cigarettes) is trying to tell us that electronic cigarettes don't pose a risk to users or bystanders, and we should let them be used around other people. Pass.

Lisa
Lisa

fog machines give me asthma...I avoid shows with them.

tim.brackett
tim.brackett

Minnesota is smart! It consistently ranks in the top 10 among all 50 states in categories like healthiest, happiest, best income, services, etc. I like living in smart Minnesota.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

Move to Wisconsin or Mississippi where you will be amongst peers................Please

_Joe_
_Joe_

@tim.brackett  

You're no ex-smoker.   If you were, you'd know it's not the alleged "second hand nicotine" that's the problem for the likes of you.  It's watching people do it.


Exhalations contain only trace amounts of nicotine - because remember, everything has been filtered by the users lungs.  There are no tip emissions (that's what "second hand smoke" really is btw) .  Less than you could get if you just walked past someone on the sidewalk smoking a real cigarette.  If that's all it takes to trigger a relapse then you are a weak individual indeed.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@tim.brackett Move to the BWCA and live in a hut. You've inhaling far worse just standing in the street.

katrinam42
katrinam42

You clearly have no idea what an e-cigarette even is.

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

Minnesota has found a way to tax e-cigarettes. So there goes your theory...

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

You are Queen of the Bitches. The only way it will be alright is if you leave people alone. Go on a diet fat bob moffit. If you don't want to breathe harmless water vapor, I don't want to look at your big fat ass.

katrinam42
katrinam42

So we should ban whiskey in bars just because I happen to hate the smell of it on people's breath? Just because you don't like something doesn't mean we can legislate it away.

albatrose_13
albatrose_13

Thank you! I quit after 35 years of smoking because of the e-cigs. I don't really use them anymore, but I have a couple around, just in case!

katrinam42
katrinam42

@chrisfl Except that there has already been research done that shows that there is no possible mechanism by which e-cigs could harm you.

tim.brackett
tim.brackett

@_Joe_ Considering the effort to quit nicotine is comparable to quitting heroin (some studies show quitting nicotine is actually harder), I'm okay with you calling me a weak individual. And, if you knew anything about quitting nicotine you would know there are several "triggers" that start a craving for nicotine, not just watching people do it. (i.e. typing this gave me a craving, and I am alone in my home with no smoker in sight). 

I chose (with the use of nicotine patches for 8 weeks) to eliminate nicotine from my life. After several attempts to quit over the past five years, this one has seemed to stick. The last thing I want is to be exposed to nicotine because I choose to go to an indoor place and enjoy a public offering. That is my reasoning. For others, it goes to health issues or exposing children to nicotine. 

There is no reason why, in a rational world, people should be able to use a product that exposes others to nicotine while indoors. 

Lisa
Lisa

@_Joe_ @tim.brackett You're wrong!  Everything is not "filtered by the users lungs"!!  You can see in pix of people vaping that vapor surrounds the person vaping....if they absorbed all the vapor you would not see it.  The person vaping only absorbs a small amount of what is in the vapor.

katrinam42
katrinam42

@tim.brackett @_Joe_Sorry, but nicotine isn't actually a health risk. It's all the other chemicals that come with smoking. Nicotine by itself is about as harmful as caffeine. The infinitesimal amount of nicotine exhaled with water vapor by an e-cig smoker will not cause you to become addicted again and can not harm children.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Lisa

Did I say it came out pure?  No.  All of the vapor has been filtered.  When you pour water through a filter, does it all disappear?  No.  It comes back out with less crap in it.

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