Ban On Indoor Use Of E-Cigarettes Begins In Chicago – CBS Local

CBS Chicago (con’t)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Starting Tuesday, it’s illegal to smoke an electronic cigarette inside virtually all public buildings in Chicago.

Earlier this year, the City Council voted to add e-cigarettes to the city’s indoor smoking ban, which prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants, and inside most other public buildings. Effective Tuesday, use of e-cigarettes has been added to that ban. Only private homes and vehicles, designated smoking rooms at hotels, and retail tobacco shops are exempt.

New York and San Francisco also have extended their smoking bans to e-cigarettes.

Supporters of the ban have said, while e-cigarettes do not use tobacco or emit smoke, they can be every bit as addictive as traditional cigarettes, and even more enticing to minors. The devices heat liquid containing nicotine and various flavors to produce vapor, which is inhaled to simulate smoking without the actual smoke, ash, or combustion of traditional cigarettes.

The Emanuel administration proposed the ban, arguing e-cigarettes are targeted to minors, and serve as a gateway product to nicotine addiction.

“There are obviously public health concerns around the chemicals in the vapor, but what’s more troubling to me is the fact that it makes smoking cool again,” said Ald. Will Burns (4th).

Supporters have said studies indicate 10 percent of junior high and high school students have tried e-cigarettes.

Opponents of the ban have said there is no proof e-cigarettes lead to smoking, and that they instead serve as a way for people to quit smoking and avoid the health risks associated with tobacco.

The city’s new rules for e-cigarettes also require retailers to sell them from behind the counter to make it harder for minors to buy them. The state prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone under age 18, just like traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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