Right now, e-cigarettes are essentially unregulated in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, meaning individual businesses can decide whether or not to allow vaping inside their premises.
Bills addressing that state of affairs have been introduced in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, but each takes a very different approach to regulating e-cigs.
As we told you about in November (see link below), Rep. Phyllis Kahn, D-Minneapolis, has introduced a bill that would ban e-cigs from being vaped in indoor public places by adding them to Minnesota's Clean Indoor Air Act. A companion bill in the Senate has already made it through two committee hearings.
But over in Wisconsin, the Republican-controlled legislature is considering a bill that would exempt e-cigs from the state's smoking ban and allow people to vape in bars, restaurants, and lodging establishments. The bill's author, Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend -- the same guy who last year said of Kwanzaa, "It's time it's slapped down once and for all" -- expects it to pass without significant opposition next legislative session, if not this year.
With the health implications of e-cigarettes still up for debate, the respective bills illustrate the opposing regulatory approaches states are taking. Should e-cigs be given the benefit of the doubt, or not?
THE E-CIG FILES: