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LETTER: Stand strong for the right to breathe clean air

To the editor:

We are writing in support of the Clean Indoor Air ordinance that is being considered by the

Alexandria City Council. At the October 23 city council Meeting public hearing, the council

heard from experts associated with the e-cigarette industry, business owners whose operations

may be impacted, and individuals concerned that the government shouldn't be telling them

where they can, or can't enjoy their own personal freedoms. Our motivation in supporting this

ordinance is not to further our own financial well-being, nor is it our intention to prohibit

individuals from using e-cigarettes.

Our purpose is simple and clear — to ask that the citizens of Alexandria be provided clean indoor

air anywhere smoking is prohibited by the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act.

The current fund of knowledge regarding the health impacts of the byproducts of electronic

cigarettes is limited. While there are studies that may suggest there is no impact, we also know

that there was a period in time when the same would have been true about the impact of secondhand tobacco smoke.

Without entering into a significant debate regarding the research that has been done, there simply hasn't been enough time to study the long term impact. In the meantime, here in our community, we have the opportunity to protect the air that our citizens are exposed to in a manner that is consistent with established criteria.

As the city council continues to consider this decision, we encourage the council members to

stand strong for the citizens who do not have a financial motivation to their opposition of this

ordinance. We encourage the council members to stand strong for all Alexandria citizens' right

to breathe clean air. Join us in promoting clean air for a healthy Alexandria!

Paul Kietzmann, M.D.

President, Alexandria Clinic, PA

On behalf of the physicians and providers of the Alexandria Clinic, P.A.