The Chicago City Council on Wednesday moved to ban the smoking of e-cigarettes in most indoor public spaces — including restaurants and bars — in addition to anywhere within 15 feet of a building entrance, just as traditional cigarettes are regulated under the city’s existing indoor smoking ban.
Only four aldermen voted in opposition to the e-cigarette ban, while 45 voted in favor of the proposal backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Voting against the ban were Alds. Roderick Sawyer (6th), Rey Colon (35th), Nicholas Sposato (36th) and Brendan Rellly (42nd). Reilly was particularly vocal in his opposition to the proposal ahead of the vote.On Monday, the City Council’s Health and Finance Committees voted overwhelmingly — 15-5 — in support of the proposal, which also requires e-cigarettes be sold only behind the counter at stores.
While critics of the ban say e-cigarettes are harmless to bystanders and argue the change will make it more difficult for smokers who use e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking traditional cigarettes, others in support of the ban say it will dissuade more people from picking up smoking in the first place.
A new Illinois law that went into effect on Jan. 1 already bans the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
E-cigarette bans, meanwhile, have also been a topic of consideration for college campuses nationwide as of late and a group of U.S. senators has blasted the “glamorization” of smoking e-cigarettes during Sunday’s Golden Globes broadcast.
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