In yet another turn of events in the E-Cigarette saga, Chicago’s new ban on indoor smoking of E-Cigarettes in public places takes effect today. This is one of several crackdowns on the relatively new product in the last few months. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said late last week that it would be looking to regulate the sales of E-Cigarettes by banning the sales of them to minors and also by requiring those who sell them to put health risk labels on the packaging. As sales of the product are currently somewhat of a free-for-all, prices of the product vary a great deal from seller to seller. Additionally, E-Cigarettes, being a relatively new phenomenon, and with the Food and Drug Administration, scientists, and researchers knowing little of about their potential health risks, are at this point being sold by private sellers without a lot of real knowledge by buyers about the product.
Chicago’s new ban on indoor E-Cigarette smoking that takes effect today will prohibit those who smoke the faux-cigarettes from using them inside public venues. E-Cigarettes are essentially imitation cigarettes which look like the real thing, but are made out of plastic, and only consist of nicotine and water vapor inside for the user to smoke. This eliminates the chemicals inside, and thus the foul smell, which leads smokers to make the argument that they should be able to use their E-Cigarettes in public places with no problem. Many smokers maintain that the water vapor does not cause harm like the emission of second-hand smoke by real cigarettes. However, the city of Chicago has still been strict about deciding to enforce this ban. Smoking E-Cigarettes will not be permitted inside any of the city’s bars, restaurants, shops, or most other indoor public places, so Chicagoans who smoke E-Cigarettes will have to take them outside. A similar ban in New York City has also been put in place.
In addition, sellers will be required to sell their E-Cigarettes from behind the counter, similar to real cigarettes. This will prevent minors from easily getting their hands on them, enforcers of the ban hope. Late last week, the FDA made the sale of E-Cigarettes to minors a big issue when it said that it would be regulating the sales of E-Cigarettes and the age that people would have to be to buy them. Up until now, it has been relatively easy for minors to get their hands on the product. Additionally, with fruit and mint flavored E-Cigarettes as a popular product too, more and more kids and teens are getting addicted to nicotine at an early age with the mock-cigarettes being as easily accessible to them as they have been. Some scientists have even called E-Cigarettes a “gateway drug” to smoking and nicotine addiction for kids, teens, and young adults.
With the news of the FDA regulations on E-Cigarettes last week, and the Chicago ban on E-Cigarettes taking effect today, E-Cigarette smokers should likely expect more bans like this one to pop up around the country in the months to come as the government crackdown on E-Cigarettes continues and more research comes out on the product.
By Laura Clark