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Ramsey County bans smoking, vaping on its property

The new ordinance will take effect Aug. 26.

A Ramsey County ordinance passed Tuesday will ban tobacco use on county property.

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners passed the ordinance, which will take effect on Aug. 26., on Tuesday.

The ordinance bans smoking and vaping commercial tobacco on property owned, rented, leased or contracted by the county. It includes indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as private vehicles parked on county property.

Similar ordinances have been passed by 27 cities, counties and townships in the state, the county says.

“Ultimately the objective of this ordinance is to protect the overall health of Ramsey County residents from the negative effects of commercial tobacco while in public places and places of employment,” Ramsey County Public Health Director Sara Hollie said in a statement.

Members of the public passing through outdoor locations owned by the county are exempt from the ordinance, which will replace the 2015 Ramsey County Clean Air Ordinance.

But while it's banning tobacco use on its grounds, the county is also reducing the penalty for infractions to limit the impact on people from "historically marginalized backgrounds." The penalty for unlawful tobacco use is being reduced from $300 to $50.

Traditional tobacco used by Native Americans for ceremonial purposes is excluded from the ordinance. 

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