E-cigarettes banned in Chicago, Rockford wonders who's next
ROCKFORD (WREX) -
When it comes to banning people from using cigarettes inside, Chicago is not stopping with just the kind you light up. E-cigarettes are now banned as well and some wonder if Rockford is next.
For many e-cigarettes were a way around the indoor smoking ban, but with Chicago and also New York passed ordinances against vapor users.
E-cigarette companies tout no ash, no smoke, no offensive odor. But for Chicago that's not enough. The e-cigarettes will be treated much like traditional smokes meaning they can't be used in restaurants. bars and most other indoor public places.
"I don't think it's over-regulation -- I actually think it's protecting people's health," says Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
He says e-cigarettes are often used as a "starter" to get kids hooked on smoking. The owner of Kryponite bar in Rockford says he's never had any complaint about vapor users.
"There's no real smell so people really aren't aware its going on. It's a really small percentage of our crowd too. I think its just for our smokers who just don't want to walk outside and smoke a real cigarette," says Chris Wachowiak.
He says his bar saw a decrease in customers for a few months when the smoking ban first went into effect in Illinois. But things went back to normal and now he's even set up a big front patio for his customers and smokers.
"We invested in the infrastructure with these giant patio heaters out there to keep people warm if they want to go out there, if they want to mingle, want to smoke," says Chris Wachowiak
He says if the ban goes even further Wachowiak expects the e-cig smokers will just go outside as well.
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