CHICAGO (CBS) -- Health professionals have rallied around a proposed new city tax on electronic cigarettes.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has backed a new tax on electronic cigarettes as part of his 2016 budget plan. Standing with health professionals and others at City Hall on Thursday, Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st) applauded the measure as well.
"It's our intent, both as a revenue stream – about $1 million, the estimate is – but. more importantly, to also make it more cost prohibitive for our youth to be able to access nicotine," he said.
Carol Southard, a smoking cessation nurse with Northwestern Integrative Medicine, said too many young people have started using e-cigarettes, and a tax would help discourage them.
"When we started to tax regular cigarettes, youth are the most susceptible to pricing. That's why I'm so in favor of this taxing electronic cigarettes," she said.
Dr. Robert Winn, interim director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center, said so-called vaping might not be as bad as smoking regular cigarettes, but there are still health dangers, especially for low-income people.
"All of these things, including second-hand smoke, I'm talking about in these communities that already have some of the greatest burdens of the disease, these things matter," he said.
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