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Letter: Protect Nobles County citizens from e-cigarette

By Casey Borgen, Nobles County Community Services Public Health, Worthington

Half of all Minnesotans are now protected from secondhand exposure to the harmful chemicals in e-cigarette aerosol. A total of 21 counties and 30 cities have included e-cigarettes in their clean indoor air policies, prohibiting people from using e-cigarettes in places where people already cannot smoke. Unfortunately, the residents of Nobles County remain unprotected at local workplaces, restaurants and other public indoor spaces.

E-cigarette aerosol is known to contain nicotine, heavy metals, formaldehyde and other carcinogens. These chemicals are released into the air each time a device is used and others, including children, are being exposed to them secondhand. That does not seem right to me. We should not be forced to breathe these chemicals just because the person next to us at a restaurant chooses to.

It’s time to protect all Minnesotans where they live and work. I applaud the counties and cities that have taken action to keep e-cigarette use out of public spaces. With 79 percent of Minnesotans supporting this type of restriction on public e-cigarette use, it’s time all Minnesotans benefit from this protection.