E-cigarette indoor ban takes effect in Chicago

April 29, 2014 (CHICAGO)

E-cigarettes look like regular smokes, but they are battery-powered and produce vapor that looks like smoke. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not a big fan of electronic cigarettes. Based on new rules effective Tuesday, neither is City Hall.

The City Council passed the e-cigarette ordinance in January. The public will be prohibited from using e-cigarettes in restaurants, bars and most other indoor public places in the city of Chicago.

Retailers will also be required to sell e-cigarettes from behind the counter, so they're harder for kids to acquire. Emanuel believes the new devices act as a "starter" to get children hooked on smoking.

The Food and Drug Administration announced last week "it plans" to begin regulating e-cigarettes for the first time, by banning sales to minors and requiring manufacturers to put health warnings on them.

But people who smoke e-cigarettes argue they are not as harmful as regular cigarettes. They say e-cigarettes are helpful to smokers who are trying to quit.

Those against the e-cigarette indoor ban in Chicago say the ordinance will have the opposite effect - that it will actually help big tobacco companies in the future.

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