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Written by Puff Staff

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

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Smoke in your car? Not if you live in this Minnesota county

hennepin

Residents of Minnesota's Hennepin County will find it much harder to smoke in the near future, as a new ban that outlaws smoking on county-owned or leased property where the county is the sole tenant has been approved. The Hennepin County Board recently approved the ban by a 6 to 1 vote.

While smoking bans on county or city property are certainly nothing new, this specific ban seems rather strict. The strict distinction is applicable because the ban forbids people from smoking in their own vehicles if they are on county property. Areas where smoking will be allowed on property owned or leased by Hennepin County include roads, right-of-ways, and a reserved section of the psychiatric clinic within the county's hospital. The ban will go into effect on July 1 at downtown county buildings, August 1 at county libraries, September 1 at suburban county sites, and October 1 at county-leased properties.

The Star Tribune reported that Commissioner Jeff Johnson was the only member of the board who tried to amend the ban to allow smoking in a car while on county property. Johnson argued that it was not the government's responsibility to prevent people from making poor personal choices. He also noted that the current policy, which bans smoking inside county buildings and within 45 feet of their entrances, was strong enough. Proponents of the ban countered by saying that the current policy promotes litter near building entrances and exposes citizens to second-hand smoke.  Chalk this one up as yet another loss for the tobacco industry.

 

 

 

 






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