E-cigarette usage increasing in Itasca County youth, adults – Herald Review

E-cigarette [electronic cigarette] usage is growing right here in Itasca County among both teens and adults. With controversy of the e-cigarettes being “safer” than other tobacco products, Kelly Chandler, with Itasca County Public Health, says differently. At the Aug. 8 Cohasset City Council meeting, Chandler proposed the idea of adding e-cigarettes as banned with the clean indoor air ordinance in Itasca County.

Mayor Greg Hagy, along with other council members wanted to receive feedback from the bars and establishments that sell them before making a decision. Chandler was asked by the county to approach the cities to gather feedback on the proposal. She also said that cities could pass their own ordinance that is similar or more restrictive.

An e-cigarette, according to Merriam Webster online, is a “battery-operated device that is typically designed to resemble a traditional cigarette and is used to inhale a usually nicotine-containing vapor. Electronic cigarettes contain a liquid solution typically consisting of nicotine, various chemical substances (such as propylene glycol or glycerol), and often flavoring. The solution is heated by the battery producing the aerosol or vapor inhaled by the user.”

Chandler explained that e-cigarettes stimulate the pleasure and reward pathways in the brain. There are also more than 7,000 flavors, they are colorful and they smell good. Yet, for someone who is not a smoker, Chandler said they can be very irritating, especially to those with allergies or asthma.

Chandler said the “youth are creative” in regard to how they gain access to e-cigarettes.

She added, any liquid can be put in this device, including marijuana; “that is happening right here in Itasca County,” Chandler said.

Thirty cities in Minnesota so far have made ordinances in regard to e-cigarettes. In Minnesota, buildings

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