January 23, 2023 – Chicago, IL – On January 18th, 2023, the Chicago City Council amended the Tobacco Retail License Ordinance, putting in place new restrictions and licensing requirements for vape shops. Specifically, new Chicago businesses that receive more than 20 percent of their gross revenue from the sale, in any combination, of electronic cigarettes, liquid nicotine products, or electronic cigarette accessories will now be required to obtain a special city license. The ordinance also prevents new licenses for tobacco retail businesses within 1,000 feet of any existing retail tobacco store.
“Respiratory Health Association applauds the City of Chicago’s decision to strengthen regulation of these harmful tobacco products,” commented Joel Africk, RHA’s President & Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to fight to reduce the burden of tobacco-related lung illnesses in our communities and to restrict youth access to vaping products.”
Years of strong city and state policies have reduced cigarette use among Chicago high school students by nearly 82% in the past five years. But this success is threatened by a concurrent 56% increase in vaping. Tobacco control programs must also deal with very limited support from the State. Illinois ranks 39th in funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, with only 7.4% of its annual $220 million in Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement funds going toward these programs.
The need is greater than ever to strengthen vaping restrictions and increase programming to protect our youth from the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.
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Respiratory Health Association has been a local public health leader in Illinois since 1906, focusing on lung health and clean air issues. RHA works to prevent lung disease, promote clean air, and help people live better through education, research, and policy change. As a policy leader, RHA is committed to advancing innovative and meaningful tobacco control policies. We have been one of the state’s leading advocates for federal oversight of tobacco and vaping products, smoke-free laws, Tobacco 21, and other tobacco product policies.