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“To use that as an argument is an excuse,” Bourn said. “To take back the enforcement issues that are in the policy, then we may as well revoke the policy we have in place.”
Before the enforcement disagreements, public comment mostly focused on the issue of banning e-cigarettes.
Cap O’Rourke, who represents dozens of e-cigarette sellers for the Independent Vapor Retailers of Minnesota, told Park Board commissioners at the meeting that e-cigarettes are a healthy alternative to cigarettes and those smokers should not be lumped in with regular tobacco users.
‘Sending the wrong message’
“These are people have largely been using cigarettes their entire life, and to tell them that they are exactly the same as smokers, it’s sending the wrong message,” O’Rourke said.
Mark Blackowiak, a smoker for 40 years, told the board that e-cigarettes was the way for him to quit. “I think for you to include them in your smoking ban is far outreaching,” he said.
Alejandra Matos • 612-673-4028