City Council Committee Stalls Chicago Flavor Ban

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Recently, a proposal to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and other tobacco products in Chicago was firmly opposed by people. Hence, this proposal is stalled in a City Council committee.

According to an article in the Sun-Times, owners of gas stations, convenience stores, tobacco stores, and trade groups as representatives joined a virtual meeting. During this meeting, they accused the City Council’s Committee on Health and Human Relations of “kicking them when they’re down.”

They claimed that small businesses are still at the recovery stage because of the coronavirus pandemic, and fighting for survival due to the adverse influence of civil unrest. Many small businesses are under-insured after the double-whammy.

Moreover, they argued about the “legislative over-reach,” such as the ban of flavored vaping products. They pointed out that more businesses are required to gain benefits. In fact, tobacco products account for 40 percent of the total revenue of a typical Chicago gas station, and about 52 percent of that tobacco revenue comes from the sales of flavored tobacco products.

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E-cig shop in Chicago | levelvape.com)

Tanya Triche Dawood, vice president and general counsel for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said:

“This is the equivalent to kicking this industry while they’re down. You not only lose out on flavored tobacco sales to adults. You lose a significant driver of other businesses. When people buy tobacco, they buy other things. So the business loses out on all of those sales. The city loses out on all of the revenue.”

Dawood agreed that vaping products might be a factor in the rise of vaping teens. However, the government should not just ban vaping products from both adults and teens. A more suitable measure is to identify which products are attractive to teenagers, and then ban their purchase from them, rather than take products away from adults.

Dawood added:

“I’m not aware of any data that shows that pipe tobacco is gaining in popularity with teens. Neither is chew. Or even menthol cigarettes. But all of these products are included in this proposal.”

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