The city of Chicago has decided that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) should be treated the same way as more conventional cigarettes. Effective April 29, 2014, e-cigarettes will be banned in enclosed public places and enclosed places of employment in the city of Chicago as a part of the Smoke Free Illinois Act and the Clean Indoor Air Ordinance.
Promoted by some as a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes use a heating element to vaporize a liquid solution that contains nicotine and flavorings, or a flavored vapor without nicotine. Chemicals are emitted from e-cigarettes when the vapors are exhaled. With no guidance from the Food and Drug Administration about e-cigarette safety, city councils across the country are making their own decisions. Chicago joins New York City and a handful of cities and states to include e-cigarettes in their indoor smoking regulations.
Chicago’s Clean Indoor Air Ordinance, effective since 1988, prohibits smoking in virtually all enclosed public places and enclosed places of employment, and within 15 feet of the entrance of these establishments.
Employers in the city of Chicago should update their policies, handbooks, and workplace postings to reflect this new ordinance.