A suburb of Chicago is considering a temporary ban on the sale of vaping products. The board for the Village of Vernon Hills voted Monday to draft a moratorium that, depending on the formal language approved, could limit the types of flavored tobacco and vape products businesses can apply to sell for in town.
The decision was part of a broader discussion to possibly ban the sale of such products within the village, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune. Board members opted to put that discussion on the back burner until the board and residents can meet in person to hear out both sides of the issue, choosing a moratorium as a stopgap until the discussion could take place.
At the meeting, village staff presented information that broke down what businesses would be impacted if such an ordinance were passed. Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer reported that 15 businesses within town are licensed to sell tobacco and vaping products.
About half those businesses sell flavored products, with one business in particular, Artisan’s Vaping, selling it as their main focal point, Fleischhauer said. While nothing is formal on any ban, trustees kicked around the idea of a grandfather clause if such a thing materialized.
As for the moratorium, officials said there are a few potential ways the ordinance can be written. The range of potential products that could be impacted includes flavored tobacco, flavored vaping or e-cigarettes, to vaping products as a whole, officials at the meeting said.
Trustees will discuss the options at their next committee of the whole meeting, with an eye on passing the moratorium at the board meeting that follows.
The discussion to potentially ban flavored tobacco products was sparked at the village’s last meeting in December, where they received a presentation from a resident that cited the harms and risks associated with using said products, particularly with youth.
During the meeting Monday, Trustee James Schultz took issue with the possibility of a ban, saying the product is legal in the state. He added that the village has done a good job of not allowing flavored and vaping products to be sold to minors.
“Does that mean we shouldn’t be issuing liquor licenses because more people die and start drinking at a young age?” Schultz said. “This is a bridge too far for me.”
The board also received a comment on the matter from a resident. The comment stated it was unfair for a discussion of a potential ban to be taking place without those who sell vape products knowing or having a chance to give their thoughts.
The City of Chicago attempted to ban all flavors of vaping products except tobacco and menthol. It has been sent back to committee. The cities of Beverly Hills and Manhattan Beach, California were the first two cities in the U.S. to ban the sale of vapor products.