Sunday, September 15, 2013

Call to Action: Duluth, MN E-Cigarette Usage Ban (ENDED -- Ordinances Passed)

*This CTA is no longer active. Please see below for details*

[full text of Ord. 13-058-0] [full text Ord. 13-059-0] [full text Ord. 13-060-0]

If enacted, these ordinances would:
  • Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes wherever smoking is banned in Duluth, including in outdoor areas (Ord. 13-059-0)
  • Prohibit the use of of e-cigarettes in an e-cigarette brick & mortar store (Ord. 13-059-0)
  • Require a tobacco license to sell e-cigarettes (Ord. 13-060-0)
  • Ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors (although Minnesota law already bans such sales) (Ord 13-060-0)
UPDATE (9/15/2013): Unfortunately, on September 9th the Duluth City Council voted to pass the three ordinances.  As a result, e-cigarette use is now banned in all places smoking is banned in Duluth, including in e-cigarette stores.

CASAA Legislative Director Gregory Conley flew into Duluth and testified at the September 5th hearing.  CASAA's campaign was featured on FOX 21 and Minnesota Public Radio, as well as in the Minneapolis Star Tribune,  the Duluth News Tribune, and Minnesota Watchdog. CASAA would like to issue a special thanks to members of the Minnesota Vapers Advocacy Group for providing transportation to and from the airport and attending the hearing.  
UPDATE (8/27/2013): Last night the Duluth City Council had a first reading of the e-cigarette ordinances.  As reported by the Duluth News Tribune, Councilwoman Jennifer Julsrud and a representative from the American Lung Association contended that banning e-cigarette use would be a positive for public health.  According to one attendee, Councilwoman Julsrud justified banning e-cigarette use in e-cigarette stores by claiming that e-cigarette lounges are merely an excuse for people to sit around and inhale nicotine.

It is imperative that harm reduction advocates attend and testify in opposition to these ordinances at the City Council's Agenda Session next Thursday, September 5th at 5:15 pm at Council Chamber, Third Floor, City Hall 411 West First Street, Duluth, Minnesota.  The final reading, and likely a vote, on the ordinances will be held on Monday, September 9th.

If you can attend the September 5th meeting, please e-mail us at with the subject line, "Duluth Testimony." 

Please call or write the members of the Duluth City Council listed below.

What to say:
1. You would like them to amend Ord. 13-060-0 to ONLY ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.

3. Explain how smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of  secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been shown to cause harm to  bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health  risks associated with e-cigarettes is comparable to other smokeless  nicotine products.

The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, Dr. Siegel  of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr.  Laugesen of Health New Zealand and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.

4. Detail how electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette, from the smell of smoke. E-cigarette vapor is practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke. Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor ("stealth vaping").  With so little evidence of use, enforcing indoor use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.

5. If you are a Minnesota resident and currently vape in public, talk about your experience.  Do businesses you frequent allow you to vape?  What about your office? Be sure to include your address and full name.

6. Inform them that the ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch. Surveys of thousands of users indicate that the majority of those who switch, completely replace tobacco cigarettes with the electronic cigarettes, reducing their health risks by 98-99%.

7. Tell them how important it is that smokers be allowed to try out e-cigarettes before they purchase them, so banning sampling in e-cigarette stores would discourage smokers from switching.

8. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.

9. Direct them to the website for more information.

Duluth City Council

Sponsors: Councilors Julsrud and Krug

Jennifer Julsrud
First Council District (Precincts 1-7)
4920 Woodlawn Street
Duluth MN   55804
(218) 525-2409

Linda Krug-2013 City Council Vice President
Councilor At Large
P.O. Box 92
Duluth  MN  55801
(218) 310-1628

Patrick Boyle - 2013 City Council President
Second Council District (Precincts 8-13)
2201 East First Street
Duluth MN  55812
(218) 728-4185
Committee of the Whole Chairperson

Jay Fosle
Fifth Council District (Precincts 28-34)
323-103rd Avenue West
Duluth MN   55808
(218) 626-3584
Public Safety Committee Chairperson

Sharla Gardner
Third Council District (Precincts 14-20)
411 West First Street, Room 330
Duluth MN   55802
(218) 730-5353
Personnel Committee Chairperson

Dan Hartman
Councilor at Large
2321 East Eighth Street
Duluth MN  55812
(218) 310-5356

Garry Krause
Fourth Council District (Precincts 21-27)
1220 Stanford Avenue
Duluth MN   55811
(218) 727-2790

Emily Larson
Councilor At Large
1331 East 11th Street
Duluth  MN  55805
(218) 730-5352

Jim Stauber
Councilor at Large
130 Carlisle Avenue
Duluth MN  55803
(218) 724-1768

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EddardinWinter said...

Come on now, this is patently absurd. What basis is there for treating a pretty well established tobacco harm reduction method as an equivalent to smoking?

There is very little evidence of second hand vapor risks, much of the research indicates very low risks (if any) to the innocent bystanders. Even more important, there is a great deal of opportunity lost if there is no way for tobacco stores to provide sampling. Many smokers will be denied the opportunity to get nicotine without carbon monoxide, tar, etc.

Please revise the ban to simply prohibit sales to minors, something we can all agree on!

Mark Egidi said...
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Mark E said...

My favorite is this part: "According to one attendee, Councilwoman Julsrud justified banning e-cigarette use in e-cigarette stores by claiming that e-cigarette lounges are merely an excuse for people to sit around and inhale nicotine."

Ummm... yeah.... thats kind of the point. Like the only reason people go to a water cooler is to stand around and consume water.

TheH0W1E said...

The ban on use before purchase is absurd. Vehicle exhaust is far more dangerous than a million egigs at once and yet there is no problem test driving cars. What a bunch of busy body idiots.

tiffany joseph said...
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