Chicago may soon take a first step toward becoming the first major U.S. city to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports Mayor Rahm Emanuel is joining forces with two powerful alderman -- Will Burns (4th) and Ed Burke (14th) -- to push for e-cigarettes in Chicago to be regulated as "tobacco products" and subject to the same restrictions as are outlined in the city's existing smoking ban.
Specifically, that means they would be banned for minors and would also not be allowed to be smoked wherever traditional cigarettes are already banned.
This move would make Chicago the first major city to essentially ban e-cigarettes from being smoked in most public places, WGN reports.
The proposal, as well as a companion ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of a school, will be introduced in the City Council on Tuesday.
Beginning on Jan. 1, Illinois law will specifically ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under a bill signed by Gov. Pat Quinn in August, according to the Associated Press.
E-cigarettes -- which are battery-operated -- were expected to bring in $1.7 billion in U.S. sales this year and are growing in popularity amid criticism that their flavors -- such as cherry, strawberry and cookie and cream milkshake -- are targeted to young smokers.