Freedom to Breathe Act

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The Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007 is a piece of Minnesota legislation that restricts the act of smoking tobacco products in public places. It amends sections of Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA) of 1975.

No smoking 2007.jpg

Contents of Act & Controversy[edit]

On May 16, 2007, the U.S. state of Minnesota passed the Freedom to Breathe Act. This act protects the public from hazardous secondhand smoke by banning smoking in public places. The ban took effect October 1, 2007. Minnesota is the 17th state to enforce a statewide smoking ban.[1] The original and major supporters of the 1975 regulations are very pleased to see the new doctrine pass through legislation and sign into law.[2] In an inForum online article, Don Davis quoted several House Republicans against the bill. Representative Bud Heidgerken, (R-Freeport), says that the ban will hurt small enterprises and presented a kink in the State's plan. He stated, "You are going to vote them out of business tonight." Likewise, Dennis Ozment, (R-Rosemount), stated that the passage of the bill is "tyranny, oppressive governmental power... This piece of legislation turned out to be just plain mean," [3]

Precedence[edit]

The 2007 anti-smoking act was not the first in the state to pass into law. The Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA) took in effect 1975.[4] The purpose of this act was to enforce the "protection of the public health." It prohibited smoking in areas where children, ill or injured are present. This first Minnesota act also limited smoking indoor at public places and private meetings.

Where is smoking permitted?[5][edit]

Smoking is permitted in the following places:

  • Specified rooms in residential health care facilities
  • Separated, well-ventilated areas of locked psychiatric units
  • Specified areas for use in peer-reviewed scientific studies related to smoking
  • Private homes and residences when they are not in use as a place of employment
  • Hotel and motel guest rooms
  • Tobacco products shops for the purpose of sampling products
  • Heavy commercial vehicles
  • Farm vehicles and construction equipment
  • Buildings on family farms
  • Disabled veterans' rest camp
  • Smoking is also permitted by Native Americans as part of a traditional Native American spiritual or cultural ceremony and by actors as part of a theatrical performance.
  • Smoking outside, unless it is limited or prohibited by local government.

I Can't Smoke Indoors. What's Considered "Indoors"?[6][edit]

An indoor area is defined as the space between a floor and a ceiling that is bounded by walls covering more than 50 percent of the perimeter of the area. Temporary physical barriers are considered walls, but certain window screens are not.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Put 'Em Out: Minnesota Smoking Ban Kicks In Monday". WCCO. 29 September 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  2. ^ "Smoking ban takes effect". The Minnesota Daily. 2 October 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  3. ^ "Smoking ban 'huge change for health'". Forum Communications Company. 13 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  4. ^ "Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act". Minnesota Department of Health. 1975. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  5. ^ "Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act". Emily Cleveland. July 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  6. ^ "Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act". Emily Cleveland. July 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 

External links[edit]