Dawn Aberle, Moorhead, Published April 17 2013
Letter: Put public health first on agendaIn 2007, Minnesota passed the Freedom to Breathe Act to further protect Minnesotans from secondhand smoke exposure. An exception to the state law grants permission to a tobacco products shop with more than 90 percent of its revenue from the sale of tobacco to allow a customer to light tobacco in the shop for the specific purpose of sampling tobacco products.
Local government ordinances can enact and enforce more stringent measures to protect individuals from secondhand smoke and many communities, including Minneapolis and Mankato, have done so, recognizing that hookah lounges do much more than the intent of “sampling” and are taking advantage of and misinterpreting state law.
As Moorhead City Council reviews its tobacco ordinance, I hope that it looks out for the health of the community members who live here and not simply the requests of individual businesses looking to manipulate the state law.