City of Chicago to Ban Ecigs – Is Your City Next?
Date Posted: January 15, 2014
The battle continues… Today, the Chicago City Council voted to ban the use of ecigs in bars, restaurants, and indoor public places. The approved ordinance will treat e cigs like tobacco cigarettes, banning them from most public locations.
After a lengthy debate, the motion passed with 45 “Ayes” and 4 “Nays”; pretty surprising, considering that many aldermen seemed to be in support of ecigs during the meeting. We watched the entire thing online, through the Council’s “News Central”, and heard several different city officials state that the current scientific evidence is not substantial enough to claim whether or not ecigs are safer than tobacco cigarettes. Cigarette smoke is innately different than vapor from an e cig.
So why did the ordinance pass?
That’s a good question, with no good answer. Alderman Colon (an ex-smoker, and one of the four “Nays”) said during the meeting, “I’m jealous that Alderman Moreno can chew tobacco while we are here … and we are going to pick and choose which tobacco products that we are going to support and deny. So there is not any consistency there. So there we go.”
So there we go, Chicago…
On another note, we acknowledge the city of Chicago for enacting policies that will prevent minors from purchasing ecigs. Stores cannot sell to anyone under 18 and they must request proper identification if a customer wanting electric cigarettes appears under the age of 30. And, online retailers are required to use third-party age verification programs. It’s the one topic we all seem to agree on.
If a retailer gets caught selling an e cig to a minor, the fine could be up to $1000. And now, if anyone gets caught vaping in an area where smoking is prohibited, they could be fined similarly. Either follow the rules, or pay up.
Will your city be next to consider a ban like this? Stand up for yourself and your right to vape by directly contacting members of your city council and sharing your story.
You can find the final ordinance here
Details from the entire meeting can be found here