Olmsted County to take up issue of e-cigarettes - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Olmsted County to take up issue of e-cigarettes

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The city of Rochester has already added e-cigarettes to all of its smoking bans. Now Olmsted County officials are taking up the issue.

The Olmsted County Board met Tuesday afternoon to hear a presentation from the Director of Public Health about concerns over e-cigarettes and the possibility of amending county ordinances to control them.

No decisions were made at the meeting, but board members had the opportunity to ask questions about the devices and the health concerns.

At issue are possible changes to the Olmsted County Tobacco Youth Access Ordinance and the Smoke-Free Work Place Ordinance, which would ban the devices in any workplace in the county -- including bars and restaurants.

Board Chair Jim Bier said he hasn't made up his mind one way or the other yet but wants to see more science on the impact of e-cigarettes.

"I want to see the evidence of the vapor, or the vape or whatever they call it coming out for those e-cigarettes, and if that's harmful to people -- that would be a cause of concern," Bier said.

The County's Public Health advisory board will meet and come up with a recommendation for the county board on the issue before it comes up for a vote.

Bier said it's a process that could take a few months.

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