Should you be able to use electronic cigarettes in Minneapolis bars and restaurants?

“The city of Minneapolis will consider banning the use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants and bars,” writes MPR News reporter Curtis Gilbert.

Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon plans to introduce an amendment that would expand the definition of “smoking” in city ordinances to include e-cigarettes. Gordon says while the devices emit no smoke, they still pose the potential for harm.

“There’s definitely a vapor there. There’s certainly nicotine in there. But there’s also probably things beyond nicotine that are in there, too,” he said. “So we are certainly having our health department review it and look into it. And the health department is also recommending that we treat these the same at this point as tobacco products.”

The state Association for Nonsmokers says 10 Minnesota cities, including Edina, Mankato and Duluth already ban the indoor use of e-cigarettes. Beltrami and Houston counties have also passed bans. The state Legislature this year banned e-cigarette use in hospitals, daycares and many government-owned buildings. But unlike traditional tobacco products, there’s no law against using them at most private businesses.

Today’s Question: Should you be able to use electronic cigarettes in Minneapolis bars and restaurants?

  • Robert Moffitt

    No, and here’s why. As Gordon said, we don’t really know what in these things. It’s a completely unregulated and untested product that people are inhaling.
    Because these silly gizmos often look like cigarettes, they create a problems for bar or restaurant owners who are required to enforce the city ordinance on their property. They shouldn’t have to worry if the heater is real or not, nor should patrons have to worry about e-smoke being blown in their faces when they only want to enjoy a meal, drink or music in the cleaner, better atmosphere we have all come to enjoy since the ban.
    You want to e-smoke? Fine. Take it outside, with the others.
    (Full disclosure: I work for the American Lung Association in Minnesota)

    • DJ

      As a vaper I don’t vape where food is eaten as a courtesy to others. your point that an owner would not be able to distinguish between PVs and cigarettes is ridiculous, perhaps you have lost your sense of smell and sight. It is up to the owner of the business to make that decision if he wants to allow PVs or not not the nanny state. There are many studies on what is in the vapor and they are as harmful as the Nicorette inhaler. I want people who use perfume and body products banned as I am allergic to that. You people who purport to want to help smokers are a joke. I quit smoking after 40 years and now smoke free for 16 months. PVs and vaping is not smoking, nicotine is not smoking and vapor is not SHS. (full disclosure, I do not smoke but vape with 0 nicotine).

    • Alex Carlson

      Apparently Robert is opposed to actually reading science. How long will they say they don’t know what’s in e-cigs when the research is available to them!? Quit or die is their motto, completely against helping the situation.

    • Jason Downing

      Unregulated, perhaps, but far from untested. ALA would have us believe that lumping in vapers with smokers is a grand idea. Unfortunately, that runs completely counter to public health interests. ALA apparently would prefer to drive vapers into direct exposure to second hand smoke, which is unquestionably proven to cause health problems. “We don’t know what’s in these things” is a scare tactic and nothing more – by glossing over the fact that e-liquid actually contains FEWER ingredients than a Nicorette inhaler, they hope to turn public opinion away from people whose only fault is trying to quit smoking when all other options have failed.

      The emerging research on e-liquid and vaping (ie: not the flawed 2009 CDC study that ALA and others continue to tout) is that there are significant benefits for current smokers to move to PVs. Let’s look at a few:

      Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality:

      “For all byproducts measured, electronic cigarettes produce very small exposures relative to tobacco cigarettes. The study indicates no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed.”

      Peering through the mist: What does the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tell us about health risks:

      “Even when compared to workplace standards for involuntary exposures, and using several conservative (erring on the side of caution) assumptions, the exposures from using e-cigarettes fall well below the threshold for concern for compounds with known toxicity.”

      Levels of selected carcinogens and toxicants in vapour from electronic cigarettes:

      “Our findings are consistent with the idea that substituting tobacco cigarettes with e-cigarettes may substantially reduce exposure to selected tobacco-specific toxicants.”

      Secondhand Exposure to Vapors From Electronic Cigarettes:

      “Using an e-cigarette in indoor environments may involuntarily expose nonusers to nicotine but not to toxic tobacco-specific combustion products.”

      Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University School of Public Health offers clarification to this study: “In order to inhale the equivalent amount of nicotine that would be inhaled by actively smoking one cigarette, a bystander would have to spend 12 days in a space filled with e-cigarette vapor, at continuous
      exposure levels.”

      To summarize, the primary catalyst for a public smoking ban does not apply to vapor products as there is no risk to public health.

      Every vote against vaping is a vote FOR combustible cigarettes.

      • I totally agree.

        Except for: “second hand smoke, which is unquestionably proven to cause health problems”

        I used to believe that, too. After all, that’s what the experts keep telling us. Now we see for ourselves how those same “experts” cherry pick, ignore, manipulate, distort facts, and lie about ecigs. Is there any reason to believe, they told anything truthful at all?

        Well, I wouldn’t believe them without extreme scrutiny, if they told me that water could be wet. All we’ve been told about the alleged dangers of SHS is highly suspicious.

        • Jason Downing

          At least the SHS argument makes some modicum of sense – smoke inhalation is undoubtedly not a great thing for your lungs and well, all we have to do is a paper towel test to see the results. Smoking a cigarette and exhaling through a paper towel will leave tar residue (and probably other stuff) on the paper towel.

          I’m confident that if we vaped through 10mL of liquid and exhaled through the same paper towel, you’d see nothing at all.

          • Well, I’ve seen and done the tissue test myself. Albeit not with a full 10ml … 😉

            I’m pretty sure there is some risk with SHS as well as vaping. Nothing in life is completely without risk.

            What I doubt is the level of the risk. When the “experts” rant about the unknown, potential dangers of vaping or even second hand vapor, I know this is extremely exaggerated bovine excrement. So it seems quite reasonable to assume that their scaremongering about SHS also is on a scientific level with
            Only close scrutiny of all that has been presented as “scientific evidence” for that risk assessment could restore any or utterly abolish their credibility.

      • I appreciate the factual evidence. Except one line “ALA apparently would prefer to drive vapers into direct exposure to second hand smoke, which is unquestionably proven to cause health problems. ” because it isn’t proven! Dave Hitt “The goal of increasing funding and power has led many government agencies to commit fraud on levels that would land the officers of private companies in jail, or at least in the unemployment office. We provide a concrete example of that on this site.

        Charities also have agendas beyond their stated causes. They need to bring in increasing contributions to prosper, and are in direct competition with every other charity trying to do the same thing. Fear brings in the bucks better than anything else. The odds of a woman getting breast cancer in any given year is greater than one in a thousand, but you’ll never hear that from a charity cartel, because it would generate yawns. Instead they announce that breast cancer will strike one out of every nine women, which generates massive contributions. Never mind that the number is based on a study of elderly women, and is completely inaccurate when applied to the general population – the important thing is to raise awareness and, of course, money. Facts aren’t nearly as important, especially inconvenient facts.

        Sometimes it takes a bit of digging to discover agendas. For instance, I once had a long, detailed e-mail conversation with a medical student about a study of the effects of SHS on children. He sent me a copy of the entire study, which I proceeded to pick apart without too much trouble. It was a meta study, and deeply flawed, but I didn’t pay much attention to either the doctor who conducted it or the organization that financed it.

        I visited the web site of the financing organization, the Robert Wood Johnson foundation, and saw that they have an anti-tobacco agenda, but they weren’t very specific about it and it didn’t appear to be too extreme. But a few days later, while researching a related subject I learned that they had donated ten million dollars to eighteen states to lobby for higher tobacco taxes in 1995, the year before the study was published. I then discovered they’ve spent over 100 million dollars on anti-tobacco programs and studies. The source of their funds is five billion (yes billion) dollars worth of Johnson and Johnson stock. Every time someone buys one of J&Js patches, inhalers, nicotine gum, etc., it literally puts money in their pocket. Suddenly, their position of as the sole financier of the report took on a much greater significance. A bit more digging revealed that Dr. DiFranza, the author of the report, had been an anti-smoking activist for at least six years before he wrote this study. He advocates taking custody away from smoking parents. Is it likely that a report created by a crusading anti-smoking activist and funded by an ardent anti-smoking organization might be just a little bit predisposed to finding that SHS was a horrible, deadly, evil thing?”

    • Carolyn Kohn

      Mr Moffitt, apparently you know next to nothing about “these silly gizmos” and are only parroting what you’ve heard. Please do yourself a favor and actually review data and studies which have been performed. Devices which look like an actual cigarette are typically ineffectual and most people who actually are trying to quit and WANT to quit quickly move on to devices which in no possible way resemble a traditional cigarette.

      • Carolyn Kohn

        (Full disclosure: I have been smoke free for 5 years because of “these silly gizmos.”)

    • Myk

      Here’s a sample recipe, 80.2% Vegetable gylcerin, 9% flavoring w/Propylene glycol, 9% water, 1.8% nicotine. Now you really know what’s in “these things”. The same basic recipe they’ve been since 2003 when a pharmacist invented them to get his dying father off cigarettes.

      Take it outside? A battery, liquid, and a tiny heating coil that requires air blowing across it. Does any of that sound like it would work great outside in winter? Do you also suggest recovering alcoholics have their AA meetings in bars because their silly glasses of water or coffee look like alcoholic drinks?
      Basically what you are doing is telling vapers to go back to smoking. The only thing we don’t know for sure is why groups like ALA, ACS and AHA are trying their hardest to keep people smoking. If you force me outside to be around people smoking I’m going to end up smoking.
      Your higher ups spent so much time trying to make NRT something people wouldn’t want to use for long they forgot in order for them to work people have to be willing to use them long enough. Considering that some of us have spent 30-50 years smoking it can take a long time to get over the habit of lighting up, slapping a patch on your arm just doesn’t cut it.

      35 year smoker. 2.5 years smoke free because of ecigs. And in quitting I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis so I need the nicotine as part of my treatment or go on drugs that have very bad side effects.

      • Carolyn Kohn

        Congratulations Myk!! Sorry to hear about the Colitis, but at least you have a minimal side effect treatment to care for it..

    • Parmenion59

      Mark Twain on Nicotine Nannies
      The Moral Statistician
      Originally published in Sketches, Old and New, 1893

      I don’t want any of your statistics; I took your whole batch and lit my pipe with it.
      I hate your kind of people. You are always ciphering out how much a man’s health is injured, and how much his intellect is impaired, and how many pitiful dollars and cents he wastes in the course of ninety-two years’ indulgence in the fatal practice of smoking; and in the equally fatal practice of drinking coffee; and in playing billiards occasionally; and in taking a glass of wine at dinner, etc. etc. And you are always figuring out how many women have been burned to death because of the dangerous fashion of wearing expansive hoops, etc. etc. You never see more than one side of the question.

      You are blind to the fact that most old men in America smoke and drink coffee, although, according to your theory, they ought to have died young; and that hearty old Englishmen drink wine and survive it, and portly old Dutchmen both drink and smoke freely, and yet grow older and fatter all the time. And you never try to find out how much solid comfort, relaxation, and enjoyment a man derives from smoking in the course of a lifetime (which is worth ten times the money he would save by letting it alone), nor the appalling aggregate of happiness lost in a lifetime by your kind of people from not smoking. Of course you can save money by denying yourself all those little vicious enjoyments for fifty years; but then what can you do with it? What use can you put it to? Money can’t save your infinitesimal soul. All the use that money can be put to is to purchase comfort and enjoyment in this life; therefore, as you are an enemy to comfort and enjoyment where is the use of accumulating cash?

      It won’t do for you to say that you can use it to better purpose in furnishing a good table, and in charities, and in supporting tract societies, because you know yourself that you people who have no petty vices are never known to give away a cent, and that you stint yourselves so in the matter of food that you are always feeble and hungry. And you never dare to laugh in the daytime for fear some poor wretch, seeing you in a good humor, will try to borrow a dollar of you; and in church you are always down on your knees, with your ears buried in the cushion, when the contribution-box comes around; and you never give the revenue officers a full statement of your income.

      Now you know all these things yourself, don’t you? Very well, then, what is the use of your stringing out your miserable lives to a lean and withered old age? What is the use of your saving money that is so utterly worthless to you? In a word, why don’t you go off somewhere and die, and not be always trying to seduce people into becoming as ornery and unlovable as you are yourselves, by your villainous “moral statistics”?

      Now, I don’t approve of dissipation, and I don’t indulge in it either; but I haven’t a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices. And so I don’t want to hear from you any more. I think you are the very same man who read me a long lecture last week about the degrading vice of smoking cigars, and then came back, in my absence, with your reprehensible fire-proof gloves on, and carried off my beautiful parlor stove.

    • Parmenion59

      Well Mr Moffit…”You want to drink? Fine. Take it outside, with the others”

      While you’re sitting in the bar, feeling all superior to those ‘filthy’ smokers outside, you may want to reflect on this. Whilst your drink is on the table in front of you, it is releasing carcinogenic toxins into the air (in far greater amounts than Secondhand smoke) to be inhaled by everyone else in the room. Maybe YOU should go stand outside with the smokers!

    • I suspect that if these “silly gizmos” become more popular than combustible cigarettes, many workers in the ALA will be looking for work elsewhere.

    • Basil Ray

      Incorrect. Please visit, It’s clear you have an incredibly limited base of knowledge from which you’re commenting. Your employer should be ashamed you’re invoking their name along with such drivel.

    • hallucinoJEN

      If the Canadian Lung Association has come on board with e-cigs being a viable way for smoker’s to stop smoking, then why can’t the ALA? I suspect ulterior motives are involved which do not include public health.

    • Mark Black

      Because you’re beholden to your bosses for a paycheck, clearly you can’t and won’t be persuaded by facts. My guess is that you would prefer Black people ride in the back of the bus. You’re a sad, pathetic, old man and I’m glad your time on this earth is getting shorter by the day.

      • KTN

        Really. He gave disclosure, and still you insult him – now that is some adult behavior, you must feel pretty good about that.

        • Robert Moffitt

          Thanks, Ralphy and KTN. We can agree to disagree, but we can always be civil about it.

          • Carolyn Kohn

            I agree. You could use your own advice there. Twitter counts.

      • Ralphy

        Dude. Really? Thanks for contributing to a civilized discussion in such a reasoned manner.

  • Alex Carlson

    The Minnesota legislature got this one correct. Banning business owners from making the decision whether or not to allow the use of a legal product that poses no risk to bystanders is a violation of civil liberties.

  • Carolyn Kohn

    Where are the well performed and non-biased studies showing there is harm. There are many studies on the products in e-liquid and their by-products as well as their effect on air quality (disproving the “second hand vapor” fears). The proof showing risk of serious and irreversible harm should be shown before banning. There is a plethora of information confirming these devices are significantly safer than traditional cigarettes and are better for the environment (less waste). The council member and health department are being premature and reckless and criminally negligent with public health.

  • PaulJ

    Let the market decide until there’s clear evidence. There’s no sense on making the gov’t bigger than it has to be.

  • I wholeheartedly agree that electronic cigarettes should be regulated in the same manner as cigarettes/cigars.

    • Carolyn Kohn

      Can you give a scientific reason why or do you just not like something that has the potential to save millions of lives?

      • I’m sorry for any misunderstanding… I’m all for electronic cigarettes, in fact I was a 30 year smoker before finally kicking the habit. Thanks to e-cigs I’ve never felt better, both physically and mentally.

        • Alex Carlson

          So, why would you think they should be regulated, a fancy word they use to infer ban them, everywhere cigarettes are banned?

          • Regulated in the sense of not selling to minors and not vaping in restaurants/bars.

          • Carolyn Kohn

            Agree to the minors, but not the rest.. It infers danger to the public.

          • Alex Carlson

            I understand not selling to minors, but why ban use in restaurants and bars? The owners already can do that.

          • I agree with you… that should be left up to the owners of bars and restaurants not the government. Regulations in my opinion as far as the government is concerned is just another way to get tax revenue… it’s just a fancy way of them getting tax revenue.

          • Alex Carlson

            OK, thanks for the clarification. Congrats to you on quitting smoking!

        • Carolyn Kohn

          Then I am confused. If we allow the same stigma to apply to ENDS as applies to traditional cigarettes it does not encourage people to try them to save their lives and will ultimately hurt all of us. By highlighting the benefits and not lumping us with “smokers” more people will think the change will be worth it.

        • Carolyn Kohn

          And CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I’m glad to hear it! 🙂

        • Paul Allen

          The state already prohibits the sale to minors.

  • Debbie Guardino

    Sending NON SMOKERS outside does nothing to improve anyone’s health. Business owners should be able to decide what is or is not allowed in their business. If second hand smoke is so dangerous then why would anyone force someone to be around it simply because they have chosen to not smoke on their own terms? Forcing someone to be around the very thing they are trying to quit makes no sense to me at all..

  • If you want to ban something, you should have a solid scientific reason for that, not just a strange gutt feeling. There already is enough hot air in politics …

    • JQP

      yeah those folks trying to ban abortion, gay marriage, trans-sexuals, … with psuedo science… are spooky.

  • Chris Tipton

    “Freedom should be the default.”

    Until there is clear scientific evidence that proves secondhand vapor to be harmful to bystanders, people should be free to do what they want. Let the business owners decide what is right for their business, not the government.

    • JQP

      isnt thought process how we wound up with DDT in waterways, acid rain and burning rivers…?
      the test should be… if you want to introduce something into public space or for sale , you have to prove its safe.

      • Carolyn Kohn

        Then we should ban cars and coffee and exhaling.. Did you know each and every time you exhale you are getting rid of formaldehyde? That’s a carcinogen you know.. It’s not safe.. I don’t recommend being around it.

        • Rich in Duluth

          Yes, but cars are heavily regulated and useful. Coffee is a food and regulated enough to require a label with the ingredients. Exhaling, we all do by default, but we’re required to wear masks in some buildings if we have a communicable disease.

          The industry should request government regulation and labeling based on unbiased scientific study if they want the general public to accept these devices.

          • Carolyn Kohn

            And they have been testing these products and want testing.. WE CRAVE testing. It has only been recently more than a few have been willing to. We want unbiased testing. Not agenda driven. Fair testing. Labeling is fine. Age restrictions, fine. Childproof caps, fine. Banning is uncalled for at this time. Learn first. These devices are useful as well. I haven’t had a carcinogen filled tobacco cigarette in 5 years. Is that not useful? Could that not be useful to the millions who currently smoke? Would that not save lives? Even though cars are regulated is their exhaust safe? Is wood smoke safe? Are coffee fumes safe (if you say yes, please provide proof)?

          • Rich in Duluth

            Carolyn, you sound like a true believer. Full disclosure, I live with a smoker and another family member uses the e-cig at my house, occasionally. I don’t want them banned. I’m hoping for definitive testing, regulating, and labeling so we KNOW what’s in them and the people I care about can use them with confidence.

            Good for you that you’re off of tobacco for 5 years. That’s wonderful. I know it’s a terribly difficult habit to quit.

          • Carolyn Kohn

            Thank you Rich. I am a believer. I’ve read the studies and not just the conclusions or the explanations for lay persons. I’m in the medical field (just not human) and can follow them pretty well. Even when I started on this path I researched available data and came to the conclusion that anti-smoking researchers came to years ago. The tar and the smoke contributed the most to disease caused by cigarettes. These products have neither. Thank you for not wanting them banned, but too heavy regulation will lead to the same thing. How often can you say once the government takes something away do they allow it back, even if it the risk is gone or significantly diminished? I’m not trying to be harsh, just realistic. Full disclosure, the 5 years smoke free is true. My husband is a smoker and has been banished to 1 room in the house with a Hepa filter and doors closed tightly. Minimizing risk and exposure as much as possible.

      • Alex Carlson

        You can’t prove water is safe.

        • Carolyn Kohn

          It has been proved you can OD on water. Just backing you up here Alex. 🙂

      • Plus prove that eventually you won’t even die!

      • Then, as an experiment in that line of thinking, JQP please prove to me that water is safe? You can’t can you?

    • Jasper

      Sounds like someone currently working for the FDA…ram it through and figure out the science later. Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful (radon, carbon monoxide, natural gas). It should be banned indoor public buildings until science can prove it is not harmful. I stopped going to many bars because of the smoke when it was legal and I will stay out of establishments that allow e-cigarettes. Again, smoking was banned in places not to take away your freedom, but because cigarette smoke was unwilling forced on those who didn’t want to breathe it in and it is a harmful substance. No one yet knows if these vapors are harmful and it would be wiser to err on the side of caution.

      • Go hang out with your own. Leave smokers and vapers alone. Better yet, be stuck in rush hour traffic behind a few diesel trucks in the Holland Tunnel, do it every day and then go have your lungs ex-rayed. Life is full of risks and the final risk is deadly. Now take your puritanical mandates and apply them ever so “Liberally” .

      • Carolyn Kohn

        Jasper, sounds like you’re trying to do the same thing. Ram it through and figure out the science later. If it is banned and then exonerated the government won’t reverse their decision. They’ll say it’s easier to just leave it the way it is, even though it may actually improve the ambient air. Propylene glycol has been used in hospital ventilation systems to decrease circulating bacteria.

  • jason

    It doesn’t matter how the smoke is created (fire, electronics, etc). What matters is that people are putting medicated (and often addictive) substances in the air.

  • “………..The goal of increasing funding and power has led many government agencies to commit fraud on levels that would land the officers of private companies in jail, or at least in the unemployment office. We provide a concrete example of that on this site.

    Charities also have agendas beyond their stated causes. They need to bring in increasing contributions to prosper, and are in direct competition with every other charity trying to do the same thing. Fear brings in the bucks better than anything else. The odds of a woman getting breast cancer in any given year is greater than one in a thousand, but you’ll never hear that from a charity cartel, because it would generate yawns. Instead they announce that breast cancer will strike one out of every nine women, which generates massive contributions. Never mind that the number is based on a study of elderly women, and is completely inaccurate when applied to the general population – the important thing is to raise awareness and, of course, money. Facts aren’t nearly as important, especially inconvenient facts…………” Dave Hitt : My comment here is NO GOVERNMENT BANS ON UNSCIENTIFIC BIAS.

  • Rich in Duluth

    I have family members who smoke and would like them to transition to these devices, because the unhealthy consequences of smoking are well known. However, while it sounds like these devices are better than real cigarettes, we don’t know for sure until some extensive, unbiased studies, not paid for by the e-cig industry, are done. I think that until e-cigs and their ingredients are regulated and labeled, so that there is a standard, we won’t be able to make an informed decision about whether they are safe to use.

    • Carolyn Kohn

      There is never going to be a product completely “safe.” Getting out of bed in the morning and taking a shower is not completely “safe.” They have been proven to be safer than traditional cigarettes and eliminate the main causes of death from traditional cigarettes.

      • Ralphy

        True. But by getting out of bed or taking a shower you are not directly imposing health risks on others. If that were only the case when vaping in a pub.

        • Carolyn Kohn

          Every time you get in the car you are imposing health risks on others. Exhaust fumes are very toxic and you are imposing them on people who are walking or jogging or just sitting in their yard.

          • Ralphy

            As long as you want wander down that path…when someone moves an electron there is a coal mine and power plant at the other end of the wire. Very dangerous. I get your point – we all engage in activities that impose risk on others. Society has weighed the risk and the benefits of many if these activities, such as drinking coffee, to site one of your examples, and has collectively decided the benefit outweighs the risk. The societal risk benefit analysis regarding vaping in an enclosed public space has not been concluded. Until it has, I would prefer that we err on the side of caution. Ok?

          • Carolyn Kohn

            Each to their own opinion. I would prefer to not have to be subjected to the toxins I had to fight very hard to be away from when I go out. It’s very similar to sitting someone going through the steps in AA in a bar with people drinking all around and expecting them to be ok with it. It’s not an easy thing to overcome and those who have should be encouraged. Ok?

          • mndan

            Not OK! If we ban every new product until it is shown to be 100% safe in long term studies, products will all need to be a decades old before being allowed in a public spaces. We could all still be waiting for our first cell phone.

            The FDA did their first study over five years ago, with ample time to do comprehensive additional studies. Other independent studies have been done. Even based on the minority of studies that show trace components in emissions, the levels of such components are far less than other product emissions we commonly accept in public spaces.
            If we are intellectually honest about these deemed bans/regulations, its clear that they are being proposed due to a precautionary principle that is not applied to other consumer products that have undergone less testing and study.
            The latest call to ban/regulate is based on vapor “renormalizing” the act of smoking….. what? Even if it could be proven that it did “renormalize” the act of smoking, that poses no physical risk to bystanders, so it provides no justification to impose a restriction on someone else’s behavior on private property.

      • Rich in Duluth

        “Safer” than traditional cigarettes does not mean they are safe enough to be used in an enclosed public place. And “proven” by whom, the industry or independent studies NOT paid for by the industry? Are they required to have labels showing the ingredients and are they regulated by the FDA so that people can make an informed decision as to their safety and exposure levels?

        • Carolyn Kohn

          Even the scientists who want the strictest regulation admit they are safer than traditional cigarettes. The “industry” is mainly small businesses. “Big Tobacco” wants to eliminate the majority of companies due to the fact they were late to the party so to speak. I don’t mind labeling. I have absolutely no problem with that or childproof caps or further testing or age limits. I would like the product I use to be as safe as possible, but to expose me to second hand smoke because I chose a different method of quitting than Big Pharma and government officials wanted me too is negligent on their part. Hmmm.. Maybe I could sue them..

        • Alex Carlson

          Actually, the largest peer reviewed study by Dr Igor Burstyn at Drexel University was paid for by consumers. Showed no second hand risk in over 9000 ecigs.

        • Alex Carlson

          Basil Ray highlighted that study below. Please do some research.

        • Alex Carlson

          And we don’t want big pharma taking this industry because they’ll make it terrible just like their “FDA” approved crappy gum or the suicide causing pills like Chantix.

        • mndan

          The FDA and many other independent universities have done studies and none has ever shown amounts of any component that violates the EPA and OSHA’s standards for clean workplace air. As long as the clean standards for workplace air are not violated, they should be treated just as any other product. Air fresheners, indoor cooking fires, various building products, and a host of other items all contribute components in greater amounts than vapor, so why would this be singled out? The property owners should decide what they allow on THEIR property. If you don’t like a property owners policy, you are free to patronize businesses that share your view.

        • Yes, just keep smoking, we all know how GREAT that is!

          • Rich in Duluth

            Jurie, you may want to review the context of a conversation before you waste your snarkieness.

          • Actually Ruth, I know the context of the conversation. And it is utterly insane that you’d rather have your friends continue smoking than switch to ECigs.

            There has been plenty of research, and if you actually did some digging you’d feel differently on the subject.

            Here’s a list of just a few:


            PLEASE, take the time to read them.

          • Rich in Duluth


            The context I’m referring to is the question, “should you be able to use e-cigs in Minneapolis bars and restaurants?” My position is no, not until these devices and ingredients are regulated. By regulated, I mean labeled and inspected so that we know what is in them and what is allowed in them. This would help restaurant/bar owners, the public in general, and government officials to make an informed decision as to whether or not to allow them in public confined spaces.

            In no way am I implying that they should be banned, because my impression is that they are better than regular cigarettes and may help smokers quit a dangerous habit.

            My position flows directly from my long held distrust of business, especially big business. There has always been a lot of snake oil out there, wild unsubstantiated claims, and harmful products offered to the public. The only way the public can have some confidence about a product is to have it regulated, inspected, and labeled by a government agency that represents us, the citizens of this country.

            And, thanks for the links.

          • Ruth of Duluth: Impressions are not what should drive legislation. We are well aware of whats in them. The 10 Million People in this world that trust the 1000’s of small companies that we do business with, that have proven to be upstanding and actually contributing to humanity something other than inuendo and suspicion laced with control tactics aimed at people wanting an alternative, 99% less harmful than smoking. Otherwise, I would never serve another meal to anyone, since they don’t know what I put in the pot, now do they!

          • Rich in Duluth

            So, are we disagreeing about something, here? I’m not quite following your argument. Do you object to having labels of ingredients or having the manufacturing of these inspected? Certainly, you’re not objecting to making informed decisions. If a government agency such as the FDA required labeling, wouldn’t that lead to informed decisions?

            If you know and trust your small supplier, that’s good, but, if there is money in this product, big business will get into it. And big business will do whatever is required to maximize profit and minimize expenses. Just consider the product recalls we hear about these days. There is lead in children’s toys, strollers that can collapse and harm the children riding in them, salmonella on our raw vegetables, and recently it’s been found that a highway guardrail manufacturer changed the design of its product to save money, and created a deadly hazard. You’re probably not old enough to remember the Ford Pinto or the Chevy Corvair from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Books were written about the safety issues with these cars.

            This is why I think we need product regulation, especially for a product you take into your body and expose others to, when you use it.

          • The thing is Ruth, governments Big Pharma Big Tobacco & Public Health are peddling the crap that “We don’t know what is in them”, and that is simply not true. The only unknown at this point is the long term effects of inhaling flavouring(as opposed to eating it).

            If you read the studies on second-hand vapor, you’d realize there is no threat to people from it. The reason governments & Public Health & Big Pharma & Big Tobacco wants strict regulation, is to protect their profits.

            What happens to these groups’s source of revenue when ECigs become the DeFacto standard for quitting smoking?

            Governments see a huge drop in the amount of tobacco tax, along with all these anti-smoking & public health groups who are partially dependent on tobacco tax. Not even to mention the fact that they’d have no cause left, so no jobs anymore.

            Big Pharma will take a huge knock with their smoking cessation products, especially their NRT’s. (Speaking of, How is Chantix ok, but ecigs a problem?) And as smoking-related cancers start to decline, they’d take a knock on their cancer treatments too.

            Big Tobacco, well they really have the most to lose here, since E-Cigs have effectively rendered their product obsolete. Their purchase of these cigalike companies (who’s products most vapers do not use as cigalikes are ineffective) is a last act of desperation, as well as a way to have people dual-use. Which is why BT want our 2nd and 3rd Gen devices banned completely. They know that the cigalikes are ineffective & expensive, so people will most likely return to smoking or dual use.

            And as for the anti-smoking groups? No more smoking – no more reason for them to exist, no more funding.

            These groups will do absolutely ANYTHING to protect their source of revenue, to believe otherwise is naive. Hell, if I were them – I’d probably respond the same.

            There are still some unknowns on ecigs, but the main reason for the resistance against ecigs – it is all about the money.

  • Roger Schaeffer

    The Aircraft Carrier USS George Washington has separate smoking ares for tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes read why here–

    Its not that hard to distinguish cigarette smoke from Electronic cigarette Vapor. Cigarette smoke Smells[Really Smells] and lingers. Electronic cigarettes Vapor dissipates and has a slight Aroma . This is America and unless scientific evidence supports a Ban[as in the case of 2nd hand cigarette Smoke] a private business should be able to decide if its Patrons/Employees are allowed to use Electronic Cigarettes on its property

  • SOS

    Busisnesses deserve the right to run their busisnesses how it suits them. Smart business owners know how to install vaping sections, HVAQ, and especially signs that read “discreet vaping only”. This black and white, yes or no, is rubbish. There is nothing, to date, that shows vapor is dangerous to the Vaper let alone the bystander. There are, however, studies that prove smoking sales are down while vaping soars. Childhood smoking is down, adult smoking is down, everything is down except the universal cancers that are known universally whether you smoke or not. Even smoking can’t be linked to just one disease, called smokers only disease, & vaping is magnitudes safe than smoking.

  • Paul Allen

    We don’t know what’s in them is just as good of a reason to allow them as it is to ban them. Stop using that wore out excuse that directly translates into “We don’t know why we want to ban them other than you have nothing else to regulate right now”. If you don’t know what’s in them ASK! I challenge everyone who doesn’t know what’s in them to go educate yourselves. Most vapor shops produce their own line of eLiquid. I’m sure most would be open to providing you a tour so you can see exactly what’s in them and then you can drop your silly excuse that makes you look ignorant.

    • There’s plenty of research out there, problem is no-one’s interested in actually educating themselves.

      Good example, Propelyne Glycol – which all the neighsayers have been going nuts about – is actually also used in ashma inhalers and a lot of other medicines and foodstuffs. Takes one lie from Govt & Public health about it being Anti-Freeze and suddenly it is dangerous (The reason they add Propelyne Glycol to antifreeze is to make ANTIFREEZE LESS TOXIC.)

      Almost everyone is perfectly happy staying ignorant.

  • virginiaslims

    Regulate them like regular smokes. Pure and simple.

    • Carolyn Kohn

      Do you have a scientific reason for that or just prejudice? A device which could save millions and you want to treat it the same as the product which would kill them. Please explain your reasoning.

    • Where there is smoke there is fire. Electronic Cigarettes are not burning anything where as tobacco cigarettes are burning,papers, chemically treated tobacco leaves turned into smoke containing tar and carbon monoxide just two of the thousands of chemicals that burning tobacco creates. No comparison, e-vaporizers heat a liquid that contains 4 ingredients, thats all for the e-cigarettes! Primarlily marketed towards and sold to mature smokers who are quitting, but at the same time all those who profit from smoker’s smoking are saying people saving their health and money is robbing the states of master settlement agreement monies that are made by smokers smoking, they are upset over revenues lost to American heart, Lung and Cancer due to falling numbers in morbidity claims, that they use to shame and blame smokers, while they dance lucratively on smoker’s graves, from coming off as so very concerned about health. These orgs. are dishonestly portraying themselves as groups that work to save people from themselves, and as we all know, there is only one way out of life and that is death. In the 8 or 9 years that e-vaping has been in use, as they were intended to be used, invented by a scientist, who wanted to remove the harms associated with smoking, these money vested opposition groups have finally seen the end of their pot-o-gold, this miraculous discovery and popular product is growing more popular and the users are organizing to fight for their lives. Vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, food flavoring and nicotine. Nicotine in amounts far less than tobacco leaf set on fire, smoldering, cigarette smoke. The studies that have been done are not necessarily done by the E-cigarette Industry as slyly mentioned below in a comment. The best study done so far Dr. Igor Burstyn ( was paid for by an all volunteer grassroots consumer organizations we have gone from 50 members and in three years over 20,000 individual members, the donations paid for this study, and were contributed by our members. We formed this group to protect our CONSUMER RIGHTS to use an alternative to smoking tobacco, either Vaporizing, or snus to save our lives from the harms of smoking. Oddly we are now defending our lives from greedy tobacco, big pharmaceuticals, public health orgs. and government. Quitting smoking wasn’t a guarantee that our lives would no longer be in danger, though most of our testimonials show a huge improvement, physically, no…. worse is a far more powerful and evil threat it is this HATE CAMPAIGN FULL OF LIES, MOTIVATED BY GREED TO THE TUNE OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, WHO HAVE MADE IT THEIR GOAL TO DESTROY THE GREAT PRODUCT THAT WE KNOW IS SAVING OUR LIVES, BUT WORSE, THEIR DETERMINED JUNK SCIENCE BACKED SCARE AND NEGATIVE PR CAMPAIGN, IS AIMED AT DESTROYING THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE VAPING TO SAVE THEIR LIVES WE ARE MILLIONS, THEY LIE ABOUT THAT TOO, THEY CALL US ANECDOTES, (forgetting we are Americans that vote!)… The American Cancer Society is not about health it’s about dollars for a fantastic fantasy about ideal health that in real lives doesn’t exist. Their elevated status of the all knowing and caring, BS, when actually, it’s all hype for bucks! 50 OF THE WORLD’S MOST respected Scientists, who are specialists in tobacco and addiction wrote a letter to the president of the World Health Organization recommending light if any regulation at all, because regulation would have the effect of keeping millions of smokers, smoking and from benefitting from what those scientists agree is the most promising, greatest ever… harm reduction product for smokers, that’s ever been introduced to the marketplace, that should and could save the lives of 100’s of millions of smokers, worldwide.

      • JQP

        Crack can be smoked in vaping pipes. Google it. Same with hash oil…. vapists could be mixing anything in those pen pipes and have been found doing. You can google that too. Teenagers are now beginning to migrate from the sweet kiddy-vape kits to regular cigarettes…girls more so than boys…

        • Bill LaRue

          People smoke crack in cars along with hash oil, weed and drink. Teens have sex in cars which are all uses cars aren’t designed for. Cars emit more harmful toxins into the air than vaporizers. According to your logic cars need to be banned as well. I work outdoors and they are polluting my air supply while trying to make a living that’s not fair to me personally even though it helps millions of people. Vaporizers are helping millions of people quit something that is killing them. You would rather they die than being inconvenienced by something that doesn’t hurt you?

        • Carolyn Kohn

          And marijuana can be smoked in wrapping paper sold at every gas station. Crack, hash, opium, and marijuana can be smoked using a coke can. You can google that too. Ban use be teenagers. It’s proved so effective for traditional cigarettes. Problem is, in studying youth vaping it was never taken into account the fact that it was completely LEGAL for them to purchase them for a considerable period of time in most states. And please google that fact.

        • Karen

          I’d love to see the numbers supporting the claim that teens graduate from e-cig to tobacco cigs. I’ve NEVER heard of a single person who did this. Literally never.

        • Prove it. Please, show me studies. Otherwise you are just making baseless accusations with no leg to stand on.

  • JQP

    no.. they are a whole lot like willfully farting , or dumping your drink on the bar or constantly shouting at max volume…
    the impact is elsewhere and worst for the folks nearest you.
    growing up is learning there are some things you don’t get to do in public spaces.
    Varting on people seems to be one of them.

    • Carolyn Kohn

      Again, I ask the question. Do you have a science based reason for that or do you just not like a product which could save millions of lives? Is it your right to willfully fart or shout at max volume (they do it in New York all the time)? Should that be banned as well? Is it harming others? Should people who are making a scientifically less harmful choice be chastised and ostracized because they are trying to be healthier?

      • Ralphy

        There is an addictive substance, nicotine, and any number of untested chemicals in the vapor. If you choose to inhale other various chemicals with unknown health consequences, that is your right. But you do not have the right to make that choice for me. It’s that simple. Further, I would argue that you do not have the right to pass the economic impact of your choices onto others, but that would be a TQ for another day.

        • Prove that with scientific studies, because the science that has been done, makes what you’ve said lies and it has to do with parts per billions. Get real!

          • Ralphy

            Depending on the substance, measurements in parts per billion might be safe or might be toxic. Depending on the substance, your body may purge it ir retain it. Parts per billion as a stand alone argument means nothing. Vap on. Vap all day. Vap all night. But please, don’t think it’s your right to require me to vap as part of my evening out.
            The choice is a) vapping is allowed in enclosed public spaces and all are subject to its side effects, essentially forcing the non-vappers boycott the business, or b) all are welcome at the business but those that vap are to refrain from doing so inside.

          • Carolyn Kohn

            Or allow the business owner to decide what is best for them and not government trying to control us even more. If someone vaped in your vicinity but not where you could see them, you might get a hint of a scent and never be able to determine where it came from.

          • mndan

            Or choice C: The business/private property owner decides what is allowed and disallowed on THEIR property and everyone is welcome and decides for themselves regarding their patronage.

            The A or B options make a false assumption that all potential customers who do not vape would be “forced” to boycott all establishments where vaping is allowed. Obviously that is not the case in real life as many people have no issue at all patronizing establishments that allow it, even though they do not personally partake in the activity.

          • Ralphy, why don’t you do some research instead of mouthing off out of ignorance.

            Research can be found here:


        • Carolyn Kohn

          Studies have been done on the vapor directly from an electronic cigarette as well as exhaled from an active vaper. Studies have also been conducted on surrounding environmental air. The results have been clear. No potential harm from second hand vapor. Known carcinogens have been tested for. Can you say that about your coffee? Shall I provide links to the studies for you? I’d be happy to. Obviously there could always be things science does not know about. That is true about anything. Scientists don’t know everything otherwise they’d be gods.

          • JQP

            Then your request for others to provide science is rubbish. As for coffee… the day i walk into a coffee house and everyone pours part of their coffee into mine while i am drinking it, i will check back with.

          • Carolyn Kohn

            Have all the volatile oils which have reached their vaporization point due to the heat of the water in your coffee been studied? They are floating around the room, exposing others who may not want to be. The volatile compounds in cinnamon brooms make me nauseous every fall and winter at every grocery store I go into. I have to make a point to move away from them. Have they been proven safe for me to be around? Scientifically? By whom, the broom manufacturers? Since I don’t like them and there is not “proof” they are ok maybe I can convince someone to ban them. They shouldn’t be allowed in public. Personally, I react the same in a coffee house. Some perfumes too. Should they all be banned?

          • JQP, why don’t you do some research instead of mouthing off out of ignorance.

        • crunchy2k

          Environmental researcher Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University Pennsylvania reviewed all the peer reviewed and gray studies on e-cigarette emissions into 2013. He concluded that e-cigarette vapor poses no harm to the user and even less to a bystander.

          Burstyn(2014), ‘Peering through the mist: systematic review of what the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tells us about health risks.’

          WHO recently released an emission study of one popular European e-cigarette. The University of Southern California study found the e-cigarette emitted less contaminates than normally found in the outdoor air they measured. The metals measured below that which we need daily in our diet. (see Table S1 in the supplemental data)

          Constantinos Sioutas, et al.(2014)’Particulate Metals and Organic Compounds from Electronic and Tobacco-containing Cigarettes: Comparison of Emission Rates and Secondhand Exposure’

      • JQP

        Yes. There is no end to the scientific data on nicotine. Literally decades and decades of it. Most conducted by the tobacco industry.

        Everyone hauls the “prove its wrong or bad” card out when they know they cannot prove the opposite true. Magicians call it misdirection.

        • crunchy2k

          JQP, many people and health professionals have developed myths about nicotine. But the science literature says it is safe to use in the diluted form one finds in e-cigarettes. The FDA considers nicotine safe enough to sell over-the-counter products containing nicotine. These include lozenges, gums, patches, and aerosol inhalation devices similar to e-cigarettes.

          A good anti-smoking book that explores the myths you present is ‘Nicotine and Health'(2013) by the American Council on Science and Health. The book in well documented and available Free Online on the ACSH website.

        • The sheer irony, that smokers themselves would discover an exodus, that didn’t profit the regime!

          • That is exactly the problem, HOW DARE WE find a solution on our own!! We should use their infective NRT. What they willfully ignore is that E-Cigs are not a cessation tool, they’re a safer alternative.

            As soon as E-Cigs came out, the war on tobacco suddenly mutated into the war on Nicotine. Their arguments against Nicotine are completely baseless, for example:

            Argument: Nicotine is more addictive than Heroin –>

            1. The question really should be – is it harmful? Answer is yes, but about as harmful as caffeine(In the dosage you’d get from an E-cigarette).

            2. The addictiveness of nicotine as stated by our “Public Health Officials” seems quite suspect.

            If you look at the following study:

            You’ll notice that among 805 households that purchased nicotine gum, only 2.3% of new purchase incidents led to continuous monthly purchase of gumfor ⩾ 6 months, and that the percentage of persistent use of gum / patch is quite low(for gum: 6.7% for ⩾ 6 months and 1.0% for ⩾ 24 months; for patch: 1.7% for ⩾ 6 months and 0.05% for ⩾ 24 months). Also some vegtables contain nicotine, and I have never heard of a case of nicotine addiction from say, eating a tomato.

            Arguement: A small ammount of Nicotine can kill you.

            1. This one’s a blatant lie, they also claim that 50 – 60mg of nicotine can kill you – another whopper. This is based on some really suspect self-experimentation by an early 19th-century scientist. In reality, a woman who tried to commit suicide by drinking E-Liquid – drank 1500mg’s worth of nicotine, and while she got sick and vomited etc.. SHE DID NOT DIE. The true number is > 500mg. See:

            I could go on, but I’m going to stop here.

        • The misdirection is done by those bandits wo call for a “proof of safety”:

          And guess why they do what you repeat so gullibly?

          They have been trying hard to find anything to support their claim of imaginary dangers. And they found. Nothing!

          So they have to resort to DHMO style propaganda. Whatever they scaremonger as a “danger” they found, can easily be debunked. Either the traces of the “alarming substances” are barely detectable and considered totally irrelevant in any other context. Or they could get them only by creating completely unrealistic scenarios. Like operating a powerful toaster at maximum settings will sure burn a regular slice of bread to a cinder. Lots of carcinogens generated. But who would really eat that?

          So they try to evade by shifting the burdon of proof. And there never will be “enough” studies to proof the absence of danger …

        • EKeller

          @JQP, there are no nicotine pills. When nicotine is ingested, the stomach reacts by regurgitating the substance. This is why oral poisoning fatalities from nicotine are extremely rare. You are correct, however, about nicotine being studied by scientists for treatment of such conditions as Mild Cognitive Impairment, ADHD, depression, and anxiety, to name a few. But most of these studies have been conducted using transdermal nicotine (I.e., “the patch.”) E-cigarettes are a relatively new invention, but some research is already available. Dawkins, et al, for example, published this study in the journal Psychopharmacology.
          Nicotine derived from the electronic cigarette improves time-based prospective memory in abstinent smokers.

        • Hey, are you going to stop eating tomatoes, potatoes and egplant(There are many more examples)? If you are concerned about nicotine – YOU SHOULD – since those contain NICOTINE!

  • Pearly

    Regulate and tax, tax, TAX!

    • Carolyn Kohn

      Yes, by all means more big government instilling a sin tax on something which has to power to save lives… Since losing money from the sin tax on cigarettes it needs to be made up somewhere right? I really want to be rude here, but will restrain myself since it won’t help anything. Please explain your reasoning behind your short and inflammatory comment.

    • Jon

      Don’t forget a registry!

  • Carlene Dean

    Quit already with the constant “big brother” regulating and telling us what we can and cannot do!! I’m an ex smoker who back when smoking was still allowed in restaurants, would avoid those restaurants because I’m aware of the adverse effects of smoke. I am very happy now that I can go out to eat, or to a bar, and not have to smell/inhale someone else’s health-harming habit. As far as e-cigs go, there’s not enough evidence yet documented to “prove” their risks, so leave them alone at least for now. I and others who don’t want to be around them, can get away from people using them. That simple.

  • Mike Mc

    E-cigarettes a safer alternative June 28, 2013 FMT LETTER: From Papa Don’t Smoke, via e-mail
    In the United States, more people are turning to electronic cigarettes as opposed to nicotine patches to stop tobacco cigarettes usage. Thus, we strongly disagree with any calls to ban electronic cigarettes. It is a significantly less risky than tobacco cigarettes. It is more effective than nicotine patches because it simulates smoking without the health risks. It offers an option for smokers to gradually reduce nicotine intake and go to zero-nicotine. The positives outweigh the negatives Banning electronic cigarettes will only lead people back to tobacco cigarettes which is bad.
    The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) supports electronic cigarettes sales to adults “because the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of a tobacco-related illness over the next twenty years.” See Letter

  • Karen

    Cam Gordon’s amendment is hogwash, founded by misinformation. He ought to do some research first. Take note Cam:

    The vapor exhaled by multiple vapers in a closed area falls within the guidelines of acceptable particulates allowed under OSHA regulation. It’s far lower even, than a restaurant cook is exposed to during the course of a shift. Which means a patron of the business is exposed to infinitely less during their visit.

  • curious

    The vapor off of coffee has many many more chemicals than an e-cig. Why is coffee treated differently?

    • Jon

      Chemicals are scary…