Following in the footsteps of New York City, Chicago has banned e-cigarette smoking in most indoor public places.
The ordinance, passed 45-4 and will not only prohibit people from using e-cigarettes in restaurants, bars and most other indoor public places in the city, but will also require retailers to sell e-cigarettes from behind the counter so it’s harder for minors to acquire them, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Alderman Brendan Reilly, 42nd, a smoker, continued to oppose the indoor ban on e-cigarettes, noting he uses e-cigarettes to help himself quit. He further likened e-cigarettes to needle exchanges for heroin addicts and said they help reduce the harm smokers suffer by offering a product safer than traditional cigarettes. “We’re talking about treating two different products like they’re one, like they’re combustible cigarettes,” Reilly said.
NJOY, the leading independent electronic cigarette company whose corporate mission is to obsolete tobacco cigarettes responded to the Chicago ruling with the following statement:
“NJOY is disappointed to learn of the Chicago passage of the provision to include electronic cigarettes under the Clean Indoor Air Ordinance. This vote lacks any scientific basis and reflects a clear misunderstanding on the part of the City Council of the serious unintended consequences to public health that their actions will cause. Make no mistake; this will only benefit Big Tobacco, and is a step backward in the fight against the tobacco epidemic. Today, Big Tobacco has no greater ally than supporters of initiatives like this one. With as many as 43 million smokers remaining in the U.S. and over 420,000 of them expected to die prematurely in the coming year, it is paramount that we not confuse an increasingly effective solution that gives smokers an alternative to toxic and deadly combustible tobacco cigarettes —with the problem of tobacco cigarette smoking. History and science will judge harshly those who abandon science, undermine the public health and prolong the tobacco epidemic.”