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Minneapolis City Council member pushing for e-cigarette ban

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A member of the Minneapolis City Council is proposing a ban on e-cigarettes in the city.

The Star Tribune reports that council member Cam Gordon is pitching a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in indoor public spaces. It effectively would be the same sort of ban that prohibits regular cigarettes.

Instead of emitting smoke, the electronic devices emit nicotine vapor, and Gordon wants the practice known as "vaping" to stop.

"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," Gordon tells MPR News. "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."

A new e-cigarette ban would expand on a new state law that went into effect July 1. The law says e-cigarette use will be banned in day care centers, hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities, as well as government buildings, from town halls to state offices and college and university campuses.

Hennepin County enacted a ban in July 2013 to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes on county-owned property as part of its updated tobacco-free policy. Beltrami and Houston counties also have bans in place.

Gordon tells the Star Tribune that he's pushing for a ban because e-cigarettes because of potential health risks posed to bystanders who inhale nicotine vapor from the devices; and the possibility that the devices are attracting younger users.

The Association for Nonsmokers Minnesota says 10 cities in the state have passed e-cigarette bans, including Edina, Mankato and Duluth.

In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced proposed rules calling for the strict regulation of e-cigarettes, as well as cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, water pipe tobacco and hookahs, CNN reported.

To date only cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco are being regulated by the FDA.

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