When the rules for smoking on Minneapolis parks land were approved in 2009, e-cigs were a blip on the radar.
Now there are YouTube videos dedicated to vape tricks with electronic cigarettes.
So yeah, it might have been time for an update to those smoking rules.
As of Monday, May 8, you are not allowed to use e-cigs on Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board lands. That includes places like playgrounds, athletic fields, beaches, lakes and rivers, ice rinks, parks, trails, and more.
The new rules were approved by the board in March, with Superintendent Jayne Miller saying it was done to promote healthy lifestyles and healthy parks. In addition to the electronic cigarettes, the updated language now includes chewing tobacco.
Cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff and any other tobacco or nicotine products consumed by humans are also included in this ban. Accessories – filters, rolling papers, pipes, e-cig juice – are also outlawed.
The board says more than 30 other metro park systems around the country have similar regulations.
Vaporfi argues this is just the latest example of vapers being affected by local laws. They say advocates want legislation to treat vaping products as different from traditional cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are generally viewed as less toxic for a smoker than regular cigarettes, the New York Times says – but that doesn't mean they're totally safe.
But hey, here's a guide to vape tricks if you want to give that a shot.
Smoking in Minnesota
A survey of Minneapolis residents last summer found that more than half of them (67 percent) had been exposed to secondhand smoke in a local park, while 69 percent had seen trash from tobacco products on park property, the Park and Recreation Board had said. Meanwhile, 60 percent of residents supported Minneapolis parks going 100 percent tobacco free.
A statewide survey in 2007 found that 70 percent of people supported tobacco-free policies.
Overall, smoking has declined in Minnesota. According to the most recent Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey, 14.4 percent of people were smokers in 2014. That’s the lowest ever recorded.
Still, more than 6,000 Minnesotans die from tobacco use each year. Smoking is expensive for the state, too. It costs Minnesota more than $3 billion annually in health care costs. On a national level, 500,000 people die from tobacco use every year. It costs $289 billion to $332.5 billion a year, according to Tobacco21.org.