Minnesota's anti-smoking battle is heating up again
After resting on its anti-tobacco laurels for a time, Minnesota seems to be reigniting its war on smoking.
On Tuesday, Hennepin County commissioners will discuss a resolution that would expand the current smoking ban inside county buildings to include outdoor areas near building entrances.
In Duluth, two City Council members initially proposed banning smoking from Duluth restaurants. Tonight they will consider a version of the ban, albeit one with many exemptions.
These developments come on the heels of an April decision by the Moose Lake City Council to ban smoking in restaurants.
Minnesota was once a national leader in laws promoting clean indoor air. In 1975, the landmark Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act established the right to smoke-free air in public places, limiting puffing to designated areas.
``At the time, it was cutting-edge,'' said Therese Blaine, who works at the University of Minnesota managing research projects on youth and tobacco.