City Council News

City Council Update September 2018

September 25, 2018

September City Council Round-up

Last week at City Council, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the latest effort to curb youth smoking, vaping and use of e-cigarette tobacco products to keep residents healthy. The new efforts will increase the taxes for e-cigarettes and mandate that all tobacco products and accessories, including e-cigarette and vaping products, be located behind the counter at retail stores.

The new ordinance includes the following improvements:

 

  • Increasing the tax of e-cigarettes: Expanding on Chairman Burke’s ordinance introduced in June, this new legislation increases  taxes on liquid nicotine, found in vaporizer and e-cigarette products, and extend the tax to e-cigarette devices that are packaged with liquid nicotine products. The tax is currently $0.80 per device or container and $0.55 per mL of liquid nicotine, and last year created $772,000 in revenue for school-based health services. The new ordinance increases those taxes to $1.50 per device or container and $1.20 per mL. Vape products, particularly easily concealed, flavored liquid products, have risen in popularity in recent years among youth. This measure, coupled with efforts to counter the tobacco industry’s marketing and prohibit youth access, will continue to support youth in making healthy choices for their futures.
  • Restricting location of e-cigarette products behind the sales counter: City Council also passed new restrictions on all tobacco products and accessories, including e-cigarette and vaping products, that will help ensure they are behind the sales counter rather than being immediately in front of consumers at the point of sale. This measure builds on the city’s policies that counter strong marketing campaigns by tobacco companies that target youth in retail stores through product displays. Moving all products behind the counter, coupled with now-mandated warning signs being developed by Chicago Department of Public Health, will reduce the visibility of Big Tobacco’s marketing and increase awareness about the risks associated with use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

City Council also introduced a resolution acknowledging "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" which takes place annually with the goal of raising awareness about the disease and to raise funds for research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. A woman living in the US has a 12.4%, or a 1-in-8, lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer and breast cancer affects more than 1.5 million women each year. Over the next 10 years, over 16 million women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis, and approximately 1/3 of those women will develop advanced diseases. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S., accounting for 30 percent of newly diagnosed cancers in the U.S. The Council's resolution calls for a hearing before the Committee on Health and Environmental Protection to consider the state of access to breast health services and support in the City of Chicago.