New businesses in the U.S. city of Chicago that derive 20 percent of their revenue from the sale of vaping products will now need to obtain a special city permit.
This is a decree from the 41st Ward Ald. Anthony Napolitano's ordinance, which passed Anthony Napolitano's order by voice vote Wednesday, also limits the distance between those stores.
“The devil is in the details, but the model of allowing new store openings seems more consumer-friendly than the possibility of a pause,” said Gregory Conley, director of legislative and external affairs for the American Steam Manufacturers Association.
Napolitano's original proposal authorized the city council to suspend future tobacco retail licenses in specific areas, which Chicago requires to sell cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other vaping products.
The latest legislation exempts existing vape shops and comes as the city has moved to crack down on vaping, which was recently the target of a broad coalition of city councilman and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
But those who work in vape shops counter that their products have helped many adults wean themselves from traditional cigarettes and that existing restrictions have failed to stop children from vaping. They worry that the legislation will further harm small businesses without undermining the ability to prevent teenage addiction.