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Smoke Free News for October 2014

In this issue:

Big Win For Dodge County

On Tuesday, September 23rd, the Dodge County Commissioners unanimously passed two new policies to address the sale and use of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. Sagar Chowdhury, Dodge County Health Educator, has been working on this ordinance since early June. He and Peggy Espy, Dodge County Public Health Director, gave a presentation to the commissioners on July 8th about adding the changes and new ordinance.

The use of electronic cigarettes will now be prohibited at most indoor public places within Dodge County, including bars and restaurants. The Four Corners Partnership mailed out surveys to restaurants and bars throughout Dodge County before the vote. Of the surveys that were returned, 100% of them supported passing a Clean Indoor Air Policy. Some survey respondents, like the Kasson American Legion and Hubbell House Restaurant mentioned that they don’t allow e-cigarettes because they want to stay family-friendly.

Click here to see a map showing other Minnesota counties and cities that have prohibited the use of electronic cigarettes in public places.

Updates to the Dodge County tobacco licensing ordinance passed by the commissioners include:

  • Require a county license to sell e-cigarettes.
  • Prohibit the smoking (or “sampling”) of tobacco and e-cigarettes in retail stores.
  • Prohibit new tobacco retail stores within 1000 feet of schools, playgrounds, and other youth facilities.
  • Increase licensing fees.
  • Cap the number of county-issued tobacco licenses at 20.
  • Prohibit the sale of tobacco, electronic cigarettes and related devices at pharmacies, which includes stores that contain an on-site pharmacy.

These updates are to help prevent teenagers from picking up this harmful habit and also to comply to the state’s policies.

This was a great win for Dodge County residents.  The Four Corners Partnership staff in Goodhue, Rice, and Steele counties will continue to reach out to city councils and county boards to work with them to update and strengthen their tobacco licensing ordinance and to adopt a clean indoor air ordinance.


Electronic Cigarettes:

Get the Facts


“Lunch and Learn” for Landlords

Are smoke-free policies legal?

How do you enforce a smoke-free policy?

What are the notice requirements to implement a smoke-free policy?

These are just some of the questions that were answered by the two guest speakers at our Smoke-Free Housing Workshop held at the Hubbell House Restaurant in Mantorville on September 25th (photo above). This was the third in a series of four workshops that we are hosting this year. We know that property manager and owners are busy people, so these one-hour workshops are in a “Lunch and Learn” format.

We have been very fortunate to be able to bring two expert guest speakers to all four of these events:

  • Kara Shaken is the director of the Live Smoke Free Program in St. Paul. She has many years of experience working with Minnesota landlords to implement smoke-free policies.
  • Warren Ortland is a staff attorney at the Public Health Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. He has many years of experience working with legal issues related to implementing smoke-free policies at all types of Minnesota properties.

Our “Lunch and Learns” are packed with information and feature great food!  Enjoy lunch on us while you learn.

Are you thinking about implementing a smoke-free policy?

Already have a smoke-free policy, but still have questions?

Don’t miss our next “Lunch and Learn” in Faribault:

When: Tuesday November 4th

Where: Alexander’s Supper Club

There is no cost for the workshop or the lunch, but registration is required. To register, please call Tracy Ackman-Shaw at Rice County Public Health (507) 332-5921. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity - register today!



Almost $500 Million Could be Saved Annually by Making U.S. Subsidized Housing Smoke-free

Minnesota Could Save Over $7 Million a Year

Projected cost savings for government housing authorities.

Prohibiting smoking in all government subsidized housing in the United States, including public housing owned or operated by a government housing authority, would save an estimated $497 million per year in health care and housing-related costs, according to a CDC study published in Preventing Chronic Disease. Here is a breakdown of annual cost in the U.S.

  • $310 million in secondhand smoke-related health care
  • $134 million in renovation expenses
  • $53 million in smoking-attributable fire losses

The study is the first of its kind to estimate the annual cost savings that would result from making subsidized housing smoke-free in each state. Those cost savings range from $580,000 in Wyoming to $125 million in New York. The total cost caused by smoking in subsidized housing in Minnesota is estimated to be $7.13 million a year. This breaks down to $4.14 million in health care costs, $2.24 million in renovation expenses and $750,000 in fire losses.

The analysis also found that prohibiting smoking in public housing either owned or operated by a government housing authority would yield cost savings of $153 million annually.  The CDC created an infographic (above) that gives a breakdown of these costs - including the cost of treating illness caused by secondhand smoke.  

“This important study is further evidence that smoke-free policies are a win-win. They not only protect the public’s health, but also save significant sums of money,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., Director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Prohibiting smoking in subsidized housing eliminates one of the leading disparities related to secondhand smoke exposure, as children, the elderly, the disabled and low-income Americans are disproportionately affected.”

To read more, visit http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p1002-smoke-free-housing.html


Billboard on Highway 14, just west of Kasson.




Smoke-Free News Archives

Read recent editions of the Smoke Free News

June 2014 - read newsletter


January 2014 - read newsletter

October 2013 - read newsletter


August 2013 - read newsletter

January 31, 2013 - read newsletter

November 29, 2012 - read newsletter