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County Board tables ordinance revisions

Although they didn’t say much, McLeod County Commissioners seemed hesitant to adopt changes to its tobacco ordinance to include e-cigarettes, nicotine and other tobacco-delivery devices.
In fact, the County Board tabled the issue until its Nov. 18 meeting as a 30-day commentary period.
We wish all governmental units would be so hestitant to impose further regulations on businesses.
Unfortunately, the tobacco industry has been trying to find ways around no-smoking bans and other rules regulating tobacco products. The industry is practically inviting more government intervention. Sadly, whenever the government steps in, it tends to make things worse, rather than better, by imposing hopeless bureaucracy and impossible standards.
In its limited discussion, the County Board raised some valid questions about adding e-cigarettes, nicotine products and tobacco-delivery devices to ordinance.
As Commissioner Ron Shimanski asked, will smoking cessation products, such as nicotine patches, be subject to the ordinance?
And what is considered a “tobacco-delivery” device? And who gets to make those definitions?
There are compelling reasons to include such things in a tobacco ordinance, but it needs to be done carefully so that we are not amending the ordinance again in the very near future to fix unexpected consequences of the amended language.
We hope that with this tabling of the amendments, citizens and businesses will take the time to contact their county commissioners to provide input on how the ordinance may impact them — positively or negatively.
You have just over a month to make your feelings known. Take advantage of it; a better ordinance will be the result.