Chicago Officials Agree to Ban Menthol and Flavored Tobacco Products Near Schools
Chicago City Council agreed Wednesday to ban the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of Chicago schools — five times the existing radius — to curb teen smoking, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
Chicago already bans the sale of menthol and flavored cigarettes within 100 feet of schools. The new ordinance, approved by a vote of 48-2, greatly increases that amount.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel stressed the importance of this move.
“Five hundred feet from a school to our children and a lifetime of public health problems? Marketing to children in an attempt to have them become addicts? Kids sometimes don’t have the judgment that we as adults have to show,” he said.
During Wednesday’s abbreviated debate, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), the City Council’s leading anti-smoking crusader, noted that the growing popularity of menthol and flavored tobacco products have stymied the effort to curb teen smoking.
Burke accused “Big Tobacco” of marketing flavors like “Gummy Bear” to kids in general and minority teens in particular.
“We should support this ordinance because it will help reduce teen smoking,” Burke said.
Earlier this year, Dr. Gary Giovino, a researcher and professor at University at Buffalo, SUNY, authored a guest post on CADCA’s blog about the dangers of menthol and flavored tobacco and their strong appeal to kids. Read it here: http://www.cadca.org/blogs/detail/menthol-cigarettes-more-sweetening-same-poisons.