A Chicago ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of a school goes into effect on July 15, 2014, the Cigar Association of America (CAA) reported.
The ordinance was introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Nov. 26, 2013 and was passed by the full Council on Dec. 11, 2013. There was no opportunity for public comment.
Under the rules of the ordinance, a “‘characterizing flavor’ means a distinguishable taste or aroma, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco, imparted either prior to or during consumption of a tobacco product, including, but not limited to, tastes or aromas of menthol, mint, wintergreen, chocolate, vanilla, honey, cocoa, any candy, any dessert, any alcoholic beverage, any fruit, any herb, and any spice.”
“No person shall sell, give away, barter, exchange, or otherwise deal in flavored tobacco products, samples of such products, or accessories for such products at any location that has a property line within 500 feet of the property line of any public, private, or parochial elementary, middle or secondary school located in the City of Chicago,” the ordinance further outlines.
The rule does not apply to retail tobacco stores that derive more than 80% of gross revenue from the sale of tobacco products. This distinguishes tobacco stores from stores such as convenience stores that carry tobacco, CAA pointed out.
Once the ordinance goes into effect, affected sellers that are located within 500 feet of any elementary, middle or secondary school will no longer be able to sell flavored tobacco products—and will not be considered grandfathered in. In addition, the ordinance bans individuals from engaging in the business of a Retail Tobacco dealer using a customer self-service display. With the exception of a Retail Tobacco store, the ordinance requires all tobacco and products to be stored and sold from behind the counter.
Though CAA lobbyists and NATO worked to defeat this last-minute proposal, it was of high priority of Mayor Emanuel and passed 48-2.
Both organizations plan to continue to fight against all flavoring bans across the country.