Anti-tobacco activists spread out around the Minnesota Capitol Wednesday in an effort to convince lawmakers to ban products they say are designed to hook children on nicotine.
A bill due up for a legislative committee hearing today would forbid sale of "e-cigarettes," designed to give users nicotine vapor without tobacco, and related nicotine products. The bill also would classify "little cigars" as cigarettes.
"The new products, they are sneaky," said Dr. Mary Boylan of St. Luke’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Associates in Duluth, who spoke at the rally with about 150 people.
Those at the rally, including many young people, talked to legislators about making the changes to a law that already bans tobacco use in public buildings.
"We will save more lives today than I can being in the operating room all day," Boylan said about changing the law.
One of the new products, legal to sell now, resembles a breath strip, but the doctor said it provides a dose of addictive nicotine.
"They are under the radar screen," she said.