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E-cigarettes restricted in Chicago

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E-cigarettes – electronic cigarettes – may not be smoked, or “vaped,” in public buildings in Chicago now that Chicago’s City Council has made it a law on Wednesday, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Wednesday evening. Additionally, there are also restrictions on where the electronic cigarettes can be sold – a measure supported by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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The new ordinance passed overwhelmingly, 45-4, and prohibits using the electronic cigarettes in most indoor places in the city, including restaurants and bars. Retailers may not have the product out in the open, either. They must put the products behind-the-counter so that minors won’t have easy access to them.

Emanuel has been no friend to tobacco products during his time as Chicago mayor. Besides the push for the most recent move against tobacco-related products, he was behind the recent increase in Chicago’s cigarette tax which makes the cigarette-tax rate the highest in the country.

Behind it all, Emanuel and the City Council say the anti-tobacco measures are all about keeping cigarettes out of the hands of young people so they won’t start the habit.

Opponents say the e-cigarettes should be allowed in public places as they are being used by persons who are trying to break the smoking habit.