Emanuel has made tobacco regulations a recent focus, working to frame the discussion over cigarette sales as a question of how willing elected officials are to protect children from getting lured into addiction at a young age.

At the last City Council meeting, aldermen voted to restrict sales of menthol cigarettes near Chicago schools. Emanuel delivered a short speech from the dais positioning himself as a bulwark against the evils of Big Tobacco. Emanuel also increased the city s cigarette tax as part of his 2014 budget.

On Wednesday, the mayor used the passage of the e cigarette regulations as a chance to again lay out his anti tobacco bona fides, saying Chicago can t wait for the Food and Drug Administration to take a position on the safety of the products.

“Having worked with the FDA, having encouraged them to take steps to protect individuals and children, they are usually an agency that leads from behind,” Emanuel said. “And when it comes to the city of Chicago, when it comes to the people of the city of Chicago, when it comes to the children of the city of Chicago, I do not believe we should wait.”

But Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, a smoker, continued to oppose the indoor ban on e cigarettes. Reilly, who said he s using e cigarettes to help himself quit, likened e cigarettes to needle exchanges for heroin addicts and said they help reduce the harm smokers suffer by offering a product safer than conventional smokes. “We re talking about treating two different products like they re one, like they re combustible cigarettes,” Reilly said.

And Ald. Rey Colon, 35th, said he resents how people who oppose greater restrictions on e smoking have been accused of not having children s best interests at heart. “I hate to keep using, I keep thinking of that movie My Cousin Vinnie the youths, the youths. We keep using the children as an excuse to pass any ordinance we want to pass, because who can deny the children?” Colon said.

In other action Aldermen approved $13.8 million in lawsuit settlements. Nanny Jennifer Anton was pushing a stroller carrying a 20 month old girl and shoved the child out of harm’s way before drunken city worker Dwight Washington crashed his city pickup truck into a crowd on a Gold Coast sidewalk. Anton will receive $7.4 million for severe injuries she suffered in the May 2011 incident. Separately, Larry Gillard will get nearly $6.4 million for a wrongful conviction in a 1981 rape case.


Twitter johnbyrne

Poll: should new jersey tax electronic cigarettes like regular smokes? – nj spotlight

Fda invites public input on menthol in cigarettes

  • Yes. We ve seen this story before cigarette companies once claimed that their products were relatively safe, while covertly marketing them to kids. Let s head this off before history repeats itself.

  • Yes. Regardless of whether this helps kids, it s a good way to raise some revenue without hitting nonsmokers with another tax. If there are public health benefits, all the better.

  • If e cigarettes are so dangerous, why doesn t the state ban them? Taxing harmful products means the government profits from unhealthy behavior.

  • No. Let s be cautious here. The FDA has a plan to regulate e cigarettes. The state should wait for more research to be done before it decides whether a tax is appropriate.

  • Absolutely not. When will the government stop coming up with new taxes? Where is the hard evidence that kids are using these things? Shouldn t adults have the chance to decide for themselves whether e cigarettes can help them quit smoking, without having the nanny state make them weigh the tax consequences?