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The Evanston City Council voted this week to restrict the use and sale of electronic cigarettes in the community.
The ordinance adds e-cigarettes to current restrictions on other tobacco products. According to the town's Clean Air Act, this means smokers can't use e-cigarettes in restaurants, businesses and other public places. They also can't smoke within 25 feet of any building where smoking is prohibited.
E-cigarette sales are also required to follow the policies in place for conventional cigarettes, Evanston Now reported. Evanston license requirements for retail tobacco vendors state that they can't sell products within 150 feet of schools or in public vending machines.
Opponents of the ordinance told Evanston Now that e-cigarettes don't pose a risk to others and claimed that they're a better alternative to regular cigarettes.
However, city officials said there hasn't been enough research conducted to assure their safety, Evanston Now reported. They also reportedly said that allowing e-cigarettes in public could cause confusion for other smokers.
Meanwhile, two county jails in southern Illinois have moved to allow inmates to use electronic cigarettes. Other counties were said to be considering following suit.