In a move meant to expand Minnesota’s Clean Indoor Act, the Minnesota House has voted to ban vaping from bars, restaurants, and workplaces statewide.
The House approved the ban 100-25 Thursday in a move aimed partly at reversing the growing popularity of e-cigarettes among young people.
Farmington Republican Pat Garofalo voted “no” because he said, “Some people still actually believe in letting people make their own personal choices and having personal freedoms, without having the nanny state tell ’em what to do.”
But Golden Valley Democrat Mike Freiberg countered that the “personal freedom” argument is misplaced because, “When I go out in a public place, I don’t want to breathe products that… we don’t know what’s in them.”
The chief author, Democratic Rep. Laurie Halvorson, of Eagan, explained the legislation is meant to ensure that all Minnesotans can breathe clean air in public places.
The bill would restrict the use of e-cigarettes wherever tobacco smoking is currently banned under the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, which covers most public buildings and workplaces. It beefs up existing state and local restrictions against vaping in certain settings.
The bill is backed by Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation, which hopes it will now get a hearing in the Senate, given its bipartisan support in the House.