Minneapolis bans e-cigs from bars, stores and all public indoor spaces

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Electronic cigarettes will be banned in bars, stores, offices and all other public indoor spaces in Minneapolis following a vote Friday.

Minneapolis City Council members voted for an ordinance that will see businesses fined for allowing indoor e-cigarette use, though people will still be able to sample the vaporized nicotine inhalers in e-cig or tobacco stores, MPR reports.

Minneapolis becomes the latest city in Minnesota to ban indoor e-cig use, following the examples of Bloomington, Duluth and Edina.

The use of e-cigarettes as an alternative to regular cigarettes has risen exponentially in recent years. Last month, the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey revealed that more than 15,000 Minnesotan students have tried e-cigarettes, the Star Tribune reports.

It is statistics like this which are causing concern among those who think e-cigs could normalize nicotine use, particularly when there is no definitive information about the impact of using the devices on general health.

Supporters on the other hand argue they are not harmful and their use is far less invasive than traditional cigarettes.

The introduction of an e-cig ban in Bloomington last month has caused serious issues for two e-cigarette businesses in the city, FOX 9 reports.

Unlike in Minneapolis, where businesses that exclusively sell e-cigarettes and ban under 18s from entering will be allowed to let people sample e-cigs indoors, Bloomington customers must sample the vaporizers at least 25 feet from the entrance to businesses.

"If we're forced to go out into a smoking section to use our vaporizers next to people who are using harmful cigarettes, that's something that we got away from and now we're being pushed back into it," Nathan Affield, of Smokeless Smoking in Bloomington, told KSTP.

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