Last night, BHam, Brian, and I attended an Evanston City Council meeting. We were there to show our opposition to their potential ordinance that would prohibit vaping in any place that now prohibits smoking. We were happy to see that our friend Stephanie ("Loveridden" on the forums), several Vapor4Life customers, a Wicker Park vapor shop owner, Michael Cozy - a CASAA rep, and a few other vapers were also there in support of e-cigs.
Ordinance 80-O-13 would amend the City of Evanston's Title 3, Chapter 14 "Cigarettes and Tobacco Products" to add restrictions for use of electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine. The ordinance was introduced during a September 23 City Council meeting. At the meeting last night, they were set to vote on it. We went to try and sway or postpone their vote in favor of e-cig use at places other than "no smoking" areas.
At the beginning of the meeting, the public could comment on agenda topics. Seven people got up to share their thoughts on the e-cig ban. Stephanie, a couple of Vapor4Life customers, Michael Cozzi - a CASAA rep, a few other vapers, and our very own BHam shared their reasons why Evanston should not go through with this ban. We met a vaper who lives in Evanston named Tom Kendall. He brought up studies done that show vapor is harmless to people in the vicinity. Another man spoke who said his father died last year from complications of emphysema and cancer. He said that if he had been able to use e-cigs, he might still be around today. BHam talked about how he started smoking in high school, and since then has survived two heart surgeries. He shared his personal story with Council members to put a face on this issue.
After the citizen comment period was over, the Council discussed several issues. Finally, they got around to what we had waited for. Before even hearing any idea of the Council's current positions, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said they were going to table the issue until the next meeting.
What this means is that we have some time yet to sway their opinion. We want to make sure that they vote no on the ordinance at that next meeting. Both Evanston Now
and Evanston Patch
reported on this hearing.