City Council approves tobacco products, e-cigs ordinance

Logan Raschke, Editor-in-Chief

Effective July 1 2019, those under 21 years of age in Illinois are prohibited from purchasing tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products.

Charleston Mayor Brandon Combs said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting that the state is raising the minimum age to purchase these products from 18 to 21, so the city is amending the regulation regarding the sale, transportation and purchase of them.

He said signs that indicate the new minimum age requirement to purchase shall be posted at or nearby any displays of these products.

Additionally, the sale of these products to anyone under 21 is prohibited.

For those under the age of 21 who illegally purchase these products, a fine of $100 will be issued for a first-time offense. For a second offense, the fine amount is $250.

For any groups acting as units that illegally sell tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to people under 21 years of age, the fine amount is $500 for a first offense. The fine is $750 for a second offense.

With regard to tobacco products, they include “any product containing or made from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means,” according to the ordinance.

These products include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, little cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, snuff, snus and other smokeless tobacco that contains any trace of tobacco.

Electronic cigarettes are any devices that employ “a battery or other mechanism to heat a solution or substance to produce a vapor or aerosol intended for inhalation; any cartridge or container of a solution or substance intended to be used with or in the device or to refill the device; or any solution or substance, whether or not it contains nicotine intended for use in the device,” according to the ordinance.

Electronic cigarettes include, but are not limited to, electronic cigars, electronic pipes, electronic hookahs, vape pens or similar devices.

The city council also voted to approve the rest of the action items during its Tuesday meeting; these items included an ordinance revising the garbage collection schedule, another ordinance approving a petition for variance of accessory building on a property and a resolution authorizing the sale of surplus equipment from the Charleston Fire Department and the Public Works Department.

Combs said the garbage collection schedule includes a section that is “no longer current practice.” That section includes 4th Street from Polk Avenue to Lincoln Avenue, 6th Street from Polk Avenue to Lincoln Avenue, 7th Street from Polk Avenue to Lincoln Avenue and 9th Street from Polk Avenue to Lincoln Avenue on Tuesdays and Fridays.

He said the garbage collectors work throughout the week instead of being limited to just two days.

To revise the garbage collection schedule, the council voted to approve deleting this section.

Combs said Paul and Lorie Conlin are proposing to construct an accessory building at the 2451 Harrison Ave. property.

He said the Conlins’ proposed accessory building meets the city code’s maximum size standard.

With regard to the resolution, Combs said CFD and the Public Works Department will sell their surplus equipment through the internet or via sealed bid to the highest bidder. There are 27 surplus items on the list, including, but not limited to, cellular antennas, office chairs, tool chests and cars.

The council also voted to approve Combs’ reappointment of Ginger Stanfield to a three-year term on the tourism advisory board during the meeting.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].