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Heartland Institute Experts React to Chicago Alderman Pushing Vaping Flavors Ban

May 30, 2018

“Alderman Ed Burke's proposed ordinance is nothing more than preening for moralizing anti-fun busybodies.” - Jesse Hathway

Today, Chicago Alderman Ed Burke introduced a measure to the city council that would ban flavored nicotine cartridges for electronic cigarettes. Anti-vaping advocates such as Burke have long held that flavors are popular among teenagers, which leads them to smoking as a young age.

The following statements from health care experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

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“Alderman Ed Burke's proposed ordinance is nothing more than preening for moralizing anti-fun busybodies. Selling e-cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18 is already illegal in Illinois, so the ordinance's aims are already addressed by existing laws. Prohibiting the sale of flavored vaping products won't save any lives, but it may stop people currently addicted to cigarettes from switching to less-harmful alternatives or even kicking the nicotine habit. If Burke's goal is to promote public health, restricting access to flavoring in e-cigarettes advances the ball in the wrong direction. If Burke's goal is to look like he's doing something to gain accolades from the puritan anti-e-cig crowd without actually doing anything useful, then this is perfect.”

Jesse Hathaway
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News

“The role of flavors in electronic cigarettes and vaping devices is crucial – and a motivating factor that has enabled thousands of smokers to quit combustible cigarettes, according to 72% of respondents in a 2015 Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives study of 19,000 observations. While attempting to “protect the children,” Alderman Burke ignores the role of tobacco harm reduction (THR) products for adults and is attempting to limit the choices available to help alleviate these individuals from cigarette addiction. Rather than placing restrictions on products that have been proven to aid individuals who desire to quit smoking, policy makers should promote the unencumbered use of THR products.”

Lindsey Stroud
State Government Relations Manger
The Heartland Institute

Jesse Hathaway is a policy advisor for budget and tax issues at The Heartland Institute. @JesseinOH
Lindsey Stroud joined The Heartland Institute in 2016 as a Government Relations Coordinator. In 2017, Lindsey was named State Government Relations Manager.