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Chicago to regulate e-cigarettes on same level as traditional cigarettes

January 15, 2014

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — The Chicago City Council voted Jan. 15 to regulate and restrict electronic cigarettes, just as traditional (combustible) cigarettes are currently regulated.

The measure prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in public places, requires stores selling them to keep them behind the counter, and prohibits their sale to minors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) applauds regulation of these products.

In September 2013, the AAP urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a rule to regulate all tobacco products, including cigars, little cigars, e-cigarettes and others.

With this measure, Chicago joins New York City and a handful of smaller municipalities in restricting indoor e-cigarette use.

While numerous states have enacted laws in recent years prohibiting sales of e-cigarettes to minors, these two major cities set an example for the rest of the nation to follow.

The AAP applauds these efforts to combat the life-long effects of nicotine dependency and normalization of its use.

According to the AAP, e-cigarettes come in child-friendly flavors like bubble gum and strawberry, which attract young people. Data show use increasing at an alarming rate among school-aged children, and many of those who use e-cigarettes have never used traditional cigarettes; thus, these products can lead to primary nicotine addiction. The exhaled vapor contains toxic chemicals, and the cartridges pose a poisoning risk to young children.

Pediatrician Jonathan Klein, M.D., FAAP, associate executive director of the AAP, said, “By regulating e-cigarettes in the same ways as traditional cigarettes, this ordinance will have a positive impact on the health of all children and families in Chicago.”

Posted Jan. 15, 2014

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