E-Cigarette Ban Proposed in Chicago

planetc1 / Foter.com / CC BY-SAplanetc1 / Foter.com / CC BY-SAChicago is on its way to becoming the first major U.S. city to ban electronic cigarette use in public and to place other regulations on the product.

In December, the city council will vote on a proposal to amend and expand a current tobacco ordinance. Backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and aldermen Will Burns and Ed Burke, this measure would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, require retailers to gain a license to sell e-cigarette products, force them to sell these products behind the counter, and – despite the fact that e-cigarettes contain no tobacco – apply the same public prohibitions to them as tobacco products. The Chicago Sun-Times explains that this means “adults would be prohibited from that smoking e-cigarettes in virtually all of indoor Chicago except private homes and vehicles, hotel rooms designated for smoking and at least 10 feet away from building entrances.” If it passes, the ordinance will take effect in January 2014.

All of this, city officials assure, is aimed at protecting children. Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair told the Sun-Times that it's not enough that “we’ve seen a decrease [in youth smoking], then a plateau. We really need to break that plateau.” Choucair hopes to stamp out youth use of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

Erika Sward, vice president of the American Lung Association, voiced approval for Chicago's planned ban, saying, "We don't want to have people now exposed to e-cigarette second-hand emissions until we know more about them."

But can government officials actually convince people to stop smoking cigarettes while also preventing them from utilizing alternatives? Reason's Jacob Sullum has extensively covered e-cigarette issues and has noted that e-cigarettes are not a gateway to tobacco use, rather, “because e-cigarettes more closely simulate the experience of smoking than nicotine gum, patches, or inhalers do, they may be more effective in helping smokers quit.” Likewise, addressing concerns about safety, he has pointed out that “the health hazards of vaping pale beside those of smoking,” so the decrease in tobacco use that has coincided with the rise of e-cigarette use in young people “might signal successful harm reduction.”

Other cities considering e-cigarette restrictions include New York City, Oklahoma City, and Beverly Hills.

ReasonTV's Tracy Oppenheimer addressed a number of e-cigarette issues in the video below:

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  • ||

    Chicago is banning something?

    *schocked face*

  • ||

    bah, shocked face.

    Clearly I had something else on my mind.

  • The Other Kevin||

    I too am shocked, but only because New York didn't think of this first.

  • Brett L||

    I hope this goes as well as their gun ban on the murder rate.

  • ||

    Well, since we got rid of the gun ban...me too?

  • ||

    Are you allowed to conceal carry in Cook County?

  • ||

    You aren't currently but I forget when it kicks in. The state police are finalizing all of whatever bullshit they think they need to do to give out permits. But you will be able to soon.

  • ||

    One of the interesting things about IL/Cook/Chicago is that by having had such restrictive laws that they were actually struck down, and by being the last ones to do any carry at all, we actually ended up with a much more liberal regime than we would have otherwise. It's going to be infinitely easier to carry concealed in Chicago than it is in New York, and New Yorkers may be stuck with their regime indefinitely. We also ended up with a state law against municipal preemption of all this stuff too, so Chicago/Cook won't be able to do anything else in future that would be more restrictive than state law. We made out surprisingly okay.

  • ||

    Yay unintended consequences!

  • Rufus J. Fisk||

    How about we just do right now what these ass clowns ultimately want....to kill ourselves. That is where this shit is heading!!!

  • cavalier973||

    "It's against the law to commit suicide around here."

    "Yeah, it's against the law where I come from, too."

    "Where do you come from?"

    "Heaven."

  • ||

    If you kill yourself they won't be able to squeeze any tax revenue from you. They don't want you dead, they want you enslaved.

  • Entropy Void||

    But if you are dead, they got your vote ...

  • ||

    I cannot wait for the upcoming discussion with my alderman's office about whether he plans to vote for this shit (I'm sure he does) and, if so, whether he would like to support my proposal for banning children from the same list of public places. At least long enough for someone to study the effect they have on my blood pressure.

  • CE||

    Erika Sward, vice president of the American Lung Association, voiced approval for Chicago's planned ban, saying, "We don't want to have people now exposed to e-cigarette second-hand emissions until we know more about them."

    Ban it first, then figure out if it's harmful. Isn't there supposed to be some rational reason to infringe on people's freedom?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Water vapor is harmful. If you don't believe it, breathe in some from your tea kettle.

    Dihydrogen Monoxide strikes again!

  • Rich||

    "We don't want to have people now exposed to e-cigarette second-hand radio-frequency emissions until we know more about them."

    Why do you hate children, Erika?

  • Invisible Finger||

    This is why I never give money to charities. They all eventually become staffed by morons.

  • JW||

    "We don't want to have people now exposed to e-cigarette second-hand emissions until we know more about them."

    We could say the same thing about emissions from the American Lung Association. I'm certain that being exposed to his imbecility has given me brain cancer.

  • ||

    All of this, city officials assure, is aimed at protecting children.

    If that were true, the ban would only be in effect outside school hours and before curfew. Unless they consider "children" to be the entire populace of Chicago.

  • ||

    Lots of children hang out at bars and clubs.

  • Entropy Void||

    God, I hate that State, that County, that Town ...

  • JeremyR||

    It's pretty clear that the government wants people smoking tobacco, so they can get the tax money.

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