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Ramsey County passes ordinance banning smoking on county property

The smoking ban on county properties includes vape pens, chewing tobacco and marijuana products.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Young male in red hoodie vaping smoking, exhales thick vapor, isolated rear view

RAMSEY COUNTY, Minn. — On Tuesday, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners approved and passed an ordinance that will ban smoking and vaping on county property and facilities, to go into effect Aug. 26.

The Ramsey County Smoking and Commercial Tobacco Use Ordinance is meant to curb tobacco use, protect people from second-hand smoke and reduce waste from tobacco products, according to the county.

The smoking ban also includes vaping from any electronic delivery device, including vape pens, mods, e-cigarettes, among others, and anything made or derived from nicotine, marijuana or anything plant intended to be inhaled. It also bans the use of other commercial tobacco products like chewing tobacco and other forms of smoking tobacco.

The ordinance also allows cities and townships within the county to adopt stricter rules. The ban also extends to smoking inside personal vehicles parked on county property and within 25 feet of exits, entrances and ventilation intakes at public spaces.

Part of the ordinance's prohibitions section includes:

Smoking and commercial tobacco product use are not allowed at any time by any person on any property that is owned, leased, rented, contracted or otherwise used or controlled by Ramsey County. This prohibition includes but is not limited to, all facilities; grounds; parking lots; work areas, vehicles and equipment; walkways, paths and trails; park and recreation areas, lands and bodies of water; public golf courses, playgrounds, beaches, swimming pools, nature areas and recreation centers.

Anyone who is caught smoking or vaping on county property, which includes owned, rented, leased or contracted properties, will be asked to quit smoking and if they do not, they will be asked to leave the property. Fines, ranging from $50 to $200, may also be issued.

The ordinance does not extend to businesses with established outdoor spaces for smoking, if they meet the criteria to do so properly, people passing an area while on their way to another location and "as part of an American Indian cultural practice or a lawfully recognized religious, spiritual or cultural ceremony or practice."

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