Today, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that puts strong restrictions on tobacco retailers, including creating a new city license for e-cigarette retailers, placing strict limitations on where they can be located and increasing fines for selling tobacco products to minors. In reaction, American Lung Association in Illinois advocacy director, Kristina Hamilton, issued the following statement:
“We thank Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward) for introducing ordinance 02022-1756 and applaud the Chicago City Council for passing it today. The City Council has taken a critical step to protect adolescents from the widespread sale and use of vapes, e-cigarettes and other flavored aerosolized products.
“We’re encouraged to see Chicago continue its record of being tough on tobacco. This ordinance will undoubtedly curb e-cigarette use, especially among youth, by raising the bar for e-cigarette retailers to exist and reducing the density of where these stores are located.
“E-cigarettes are not a healthy alternative to traditional ‘combustible’ cigarettes. Dangerous ingredients are found in e-cigarettes, which have been linked to heart and respiratory diseases, and cancer. Nicotine, also found in e-cigarettes, can harm the development of adolescent brains.
“We urge Mayor Lori Lightfoot to sign this measure.
“Further we urge the council to enact the following amendments to strengthen the ordinance before it goes in effect:
Increase funding for youth tobacco prevention and cessation programs
Require annual compliance checks and rechecks for noncompliance in Code;
Impose retailer penalties escalating with each violation including the final penalty of revocation of the license; and
Codify license fees to support enforcement.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.