Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is calling for a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes, and she has some prominent Illinois politicians in her corner.
“I am committing today to lead an effort to expand the current ban on sales of flavored e-cigarettes citywide,” Lightfoot said.
Senator Dick Durbin, who has been calling on the FDA to step up its regulations of the products, supports Lightfoot’s push.
“We have a challenge,” he said. “We have to convince students that its’ a bad idea to vape, and we have to convince their parents it’s not a harmless cloud of smoke around their heads.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health recently reported 52 confirmed cases for severe respiratory illnesses potentially linked to vaping.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office announced Monday that it has convened a committee of medical and legal experts to study scientific evidence on the effects of vaping in an effort to develop long-term solutions to the potential public health crisis.
Mayor Lightfoot said that while her proposed ban would only impact flavored e-cigarettes, she said she would consider an outright ban on all e-cigarette products.
“I think that’s more complicated,” she said. “We’re going to start with the flavored e-cigarettes (because) it’s like the gateway in which children become addicted.”
Alderman Ray Lopez said that he doesn’t feel Lightfoot’s ban goes far enough, and said he will propose a city ordinance that will ban all e-cigarettes.
“As someone who has smoked since he was 16 years old, I know very well the dangers of pushing this on young children,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Menthol cigarettes in particular are something I’ve smoked since I was a teenager. Once you’re hooked, you’re hooked.”