Heartland Institute Experts React to Chicago’s Ban on Indoor E-Cigarette Use

Published January 15, 2014

The Chicago City Council today banned the use of electronic cigarettes indoors – treating e-cigarettes, which emit harmless water vapor, exactly like tobacco cigarettes, which emit smoke.

The following statements from tobacco policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a Chicago-based free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“By choosing to lump e-cigarettes into its smoking ban ordinance, Chicago has taken a lazy and shortsighted approach toward regulating what is a very different product than cigarettes. Although most e-cigarettes have nicotine derived from tobacco, they are very different from other tobacco products, and they should not be regulated the same way.

“E-cigarettes have far fewer consequences for personal and public health, and several studies have found e-cigarettes to be an effective and viable option for smokers seeking a nicotine replacement therapy. Adding e-cigarettes to the smoking ban only disrupts an increasingly popular and successful method of helping Chicagoans reduce smoking or quit altogether.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The goal of bans on smoking in public places has always been to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke and to allow people fewer places to smoke, with the hope that it would cause them to quit smoking. Chicago’s proposed ban on e-cigarettes will do no good on either front.

“There’s no smoke from e-cigarettes, so the ban won’t reduce second-hand exposure. If anything it’ll increase it by causing more people to keep smoking cigarettes, rather than quit by switching to e-cigarettes. And by treating the dramatically less-harmful e-cigarettes like cigarettes, fewer people will be likely to make the switch.”

Jeff Stier
Senior Fellow, National Center for Public Policy Research
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.