Reducing Second and Thirdhand Exposure

Exposure to secondhand e-cigarette vapor

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices used to inhale a heated vapor of nicotine, flavoring and other chemicals. More than half of all Minnesotans live in communities who prohibit their use wherever smoking is already prohibited.

Crave the Change believes its time to protect all Minnesotans in restaurants, bars and other workplaces not yet covered and we support efforts to include these products in public policies that apply to cigarettes. There is not yet a body of evidence on the effects of using or being around e-cigarettes, and allowing an unknown substance to be used in indoor public places exposes bystanders.

A poll funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in February of 2014 found that Minnesotans strongly support including e-cigarettes in policies that restrict smoking in public places. Seventy-nine % said they support prohibiting e-cigarette use in places where smoking is already prohibited.

Recent changes to Minnesota law prohibit e-cigarette use in public schools, hospitals, clinics and government-owned buildings, including city and county buildings. It also includes licensed daycare facilities during hours of operations.


Exposure to secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke exposure has dropped dramatically in Minnesota in recent decades thanks to the 1975 Clean Indoor Air Act and the 2007 Freedom to Breath Act, which added those protections for employees and patrons at restaurants and bars and other employers. Still, some Minnesota residents are subjected to secondhand smoke because of where they live or work.

Crave the Change is working with county, state and federal agencies to raise awareness of the benefits of offering smoke-free housing options. People who live or work in apartments or other multi-unit housing complexes and those who work in hotels or motels can be exposed to secondhand smoke from their neighbors or while at work, so it is important to help people avoid this exposure.


“Now, our air is clear, our building smells better and as an added bonus, there aren’t nicotine stains, cigarette burns and other smoking-related damage in our units. Our residents are happier knowing they are entering into a smoke-free property.  And the owners are also happy as the turnovers are getting done quicker with less expense.” – Joel Torborg, Regional Property Manager




By August 2018, all Public Housing Authorities in the United States must implement a “smoke-free” policy banning the use of prohibited tobacco products in all public housing

living units, indoor common areas in public housing, and administrative office buildings. The smoke-free policy must also extend to all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the public housing and administrative office buildings.



Smoke-Free Multiunit Resource Bank (click here) – Here you will find tools and resources to assist you and answer common questions.

Information on Final Rule for Public Housing Agencies:

CLICK HERE to view the Final rule.

CLICK HERE for the press release

CLICK HERE for smoke-free public housing fact sheets and other information from the Office of Public and Indian Housing.

CLICK HERE for the list of PHAs that the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes currently knows have adopted smoke-free policies for some or all of their public housing units.




Are you interested in reducing exposure to second hand smoke and vape? Connect with us today and learn how you can get involved in efforts to clear the air!