There has been a public debate as to whether electronic cigarettes have the same level of health risk as traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Some see e-cigarettes as an alternative for those looking to quit smoking. Others see them as merely a different form of smoking. At the Oct. 8 meeting of the Wright County Board, the commissioners debated whether to categorize e-cigarettes as a component of the county’s tobacco ordinance.
The county regulates where tobacco products can be sold and requires a license be issued for those who sell them. The issue, as it was discussed by the board is whether e-cigarettes are categorized in the same way traditional cigarettes.
The proliferation of e-cigarettes in Minnesota has spread in recent months when the state raised the price of cigarettes $2 a pack. Assistant County Attorney Brian Asleson said the county has received inquiries about whether e-cigarettes are viewed as the tobacco products or not, since there is no secondhand smoke. The ordinance changes wouldn’t differentiate between standard tobacco cigarettes and the electronic alternative.
“The change deals with the incorporation of e-cigarettes in the definition of tobacco products,” Asleson said. “We have received inquiries from people who want to sell e-cigarettes only and not tobacco products, so we have a new area of our ordinance that hadn’t been addressed before.”
See the Oct. 17 print edition of the Monticello Times for the complete story.