New E-Cig Rules Take Effect in Duluth

Posted at: 10/08/2013 5:13 PM | Updated at: 10/09/2013 9:07 AM
By: Maarja Anderson

Come Wednesday people that use e-cigarettes won't be able to smoke them where tobacco cigarettes are already banned.

"We haven't said don't use the product, we haven't banned it, we've actually regulated it," said Duluth city councilor Linda Krug.

Krug co-sponsored the ordinances. She calls the action a victory for the community.

Pat McKone with the American Lung Association said Duluth is leading the way in regulating a product not approved by the FDA.

"E-cigarettes are an untested product that have not been proven to be a safe alternative to smoking and there is no evidence that the vapor emitted from the e-cigarettes is safe to inhale," said McKone.

The city passed the three ordinances last month. Two are geared towards the sale of e-cigarettes by requiring a license to sell and restricting the "sampling" indoors.

Brian Annis owns Lake Effect Vapor, a new store in Duluth. Annis said he doesn't have any qualms with regulations, but the ordinance just doesn't make sense because it treats e-cigarettes like tobacco.

"I don't think it's a fair comparison at all. It's not a tobacco product. We sell e-liquid with zero-percent nicotine and all the sampling that we have in the store here is zero-percent nicotine, so it's not a tobacco product at all," said Annis.

The third ordinance regulates the use of e-cigarettes indoors like tobacco cigarettes.

"We have agreed, more than just a simple majority, we have agreed that we value clean air, especially indoor clear air," said Krug.

Starting Wednesday e-cigarettes will be banned anywhere tobacco cigarettes are banned.

Krug said Duluth isn't alone in its regulations, but they are the first in the state to regulate e-cigarette use indoors.

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