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Chicago E-Cigarette Ban Blocked by 'Surprise Opposition'

FIN e-cigarette adFIN e-cigarette adThe Chicago Sun-Times reports that "a surprise outpouring of opposition" has blocked passage of a bill supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that would have treated electronic cigarettes like tobacco products. Among other things, that would have meant a ban on vaping in bars, restaurants, and other "public places"—a measure New York City also is considering. Opponents of the Chicago ordinance noted the dearth of evidence that e-cigarettes pose a threat to bystanders (or to vapers themselves) and argued that it was unfair to pressure smokers into quitting (through a new tax hike, among other policies) and then attack a product that could help them do so.

“We're punishing a group of people for trying not to smoke," Alderwoman Leslie Hairston said at meeting of the Chicago City Council's health committee yesterday. "You can't have it both ways. You can't on one day say, 'We're going to tax the heck out of cigarettes,' then the next day [say], 'For those of you who can't afford it and decide you want to smoke vapor, we’re going to decide you can't do that, either.'" Another member of the city council, Brendan Reilly, took a puff on an e-cigarette during the meeting, saying he is in midst of switching from smoking to vaping. 

Addendum: Speaking of surprising opposition to vaping bans, New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, who has not shown a similar skepticism when the subject is gun control or violent video games, recently faulted anti-smoking activists and public health officials for their knee-jerk rejection of a promising harm reduction tool:

At that recent New York City Council meeting, one of the fiercest critics to testify was Kevin O'Flaherty of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck and it sounds like a duck and it looks like a duck, it is a duck," he said.

Is this what passes for science when you oppose electronic cigarettes?

[Thanks to David Wegener for the tip.]

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  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    "You can't have it both ways. You can't on one day say, 'We're going to tax the heck out of cigarettes,' then the next day [say], 'For those of you who can't afford it and decide you want to smoke vapor, we’re going to decide you can't do that, either.'"

    This insight pretty much applies to the entirety of progressive ideology. So many contradictions and twisted pretzel logic to justify the cognitive dissonance of having contradictory opinions

  • Invisible Finger||

    How about a tax on smoking government cock?

  • anon||

    That is one tax I wholeheartedly support.

  • David Emami||

    I'd be all in favor of a law that says that you can't vote if you have a net positive non-salary income from the government during the last year.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    How about you get one vote for every dollar in federal taxes that you pay?

    Then voting would be more like corporate proxy votes for a corporate takeover.

  • shamalam||

    I live in the Mojave desert and it is freezing. Hell has indeed frozen over. Chicago politicians did something sensible. Mark your calendars.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Opponents of the Chicago ordinance noted the dearth of evidence that e-cigarettes pose a threat to bystanders

    Forget threat, they're not even an annoyance.

    No stink, no foul.

  • anon||

    But Brooks, the cloud of water vapor! It obscures my view!

  • anon||

    Next up: Government proposes banning fog & clouds.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    They will require it to be made from stinky oils. Just an extension of what they did to stage actors, banning real cigarettes and substituting them for sticks that smell of damp burning dog fur.

  • shamalam||

    Water vapor is a green house gas!

  • anon||

    Would someone please explain to me what, specifically, the war on e-cigs is about anyways? I can't think of a single less fruitful endeavor at this moment.

  • R C Dean||

    Its about the grinding (self-)hatred of Puritans and proggies finding an outlet.

    No more, no less.

  • anon||

    So basically, since they're out of shit to gripe about, they're griping about controlling a product that doesn't even harm the person using it?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    And they're doing it because it looks like something they disapprove of.

  • blcartwright||

    if everyone quit smoking taxed tobacco and went to e-cigs, they'd lose a lot of revenue

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Would someone please explain to me what, specifically, the war on e-cigs is about anyways?

    Power?
    Control?
    FYTW?

    Pick one some.

  • BillPrep||

    $$$$$$$$

    chantixkillyourfamily and nicorettechomptilyoufuckingdie are losing that sweet sweet 'smoking cessation' monies. This makes them angry and sad.

  • R C Dean||

    If it doesn't walks like a duck, because it doesn't produce carcinogens that are inhaled by the smoker and it doesn't talks like a duck, because it doesn't produce second-hand smoke and it doesn't sounds like a duck, because it doesn't produce any kind of smell and all you can say is that it kinda sometimes looks like a duck, it is not a duck,

  • KPres||

    Root Beer is in trouble.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "The Chicago Sun-Times reports"

    They still exist?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Christopher Hitchens died too soon.

  • Raven Nation||

    Damn straight.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Would someone please explain to me what, specifically, the war on e-cigs is about anyways?

    E-cigs resemble actual cigarettes; a small impressionable child will see somebody smoking one, and immediately want to inject heroin into his eyeball. Obvious, really.

  • ImanAzol||

    That sounds awesome. Which eyeball is better?

    I was afraid it would lead to something terrible, like Mountain Dew addiction.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    Left eye if you're right-handed. If you're left-handed, you should inject it into your cock.

  • kmc212||

    Why stop at banning e-cigarettes? The government should ban candy cigarettes too since they look like real cigarettes.

  • David Emami||

    Please don't give them any ideas.

    I remember back in the mid-90s, during all of the proposals to ban or semi-ban tobacco for health reasons, lots of people were making jokes along the lines of "let's ban soda and potato chips, they're bad for you!", in order to point out how absurd the principle was.

    Apparently, Michael Bloomberg and his ilk were listening.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Take any government proposal and stretch it out to its logical end, and that's exactly where its going to go.

    Not because nanny fucks are logical, mind you, but because the process of stroking a ban boner never reaches climax.

  • Babylonandon||

    Lots of Big Pharma money and propaganda flying around here. They've done a pretty effective job at trying to keep this product off the market and to discourage its use around the world - even better in Europe than here in the States.

    While I suspect the Ciggy companies are also involved, I think the makers of products like Nicorette and Nicotene patches are making billions and E-cigs are a direct threat to them.

  • Astra||

    My only complaint about e-cigs is that fruit flavor so many of them add to the vapor. I am always looking around to see who is blowing their Starburst fruit chew breath in my direction.

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