Hanover Park is poised to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone younger than 18 under proposed restrictions. The measure would also require businesses selling the battery-powered devices to pay an annual $100 fee.
Trustees are expected to vote on the rules during a village board meeting March 20.
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Officials say they are concerned with the product's growing popularity among teenagers, citing a study released in September by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Those findings showed the percentage of middle and high school students who used electronic cigarettes doubled from 2011 to 2012.
"I think we're going in the wrong direction," Mayor Rodney Craig said of the rise in youth users. "We need to find ways to make it less lucrative (and) less pretty."
In Hanover Park, electronic cigarettes have popped up in gas stations and convenience stores. One business exclusively sells them.
Electronic cigarettes turn a liquid solution into vapor, usually releasing nicotine. The industry argues they are a safer alternative to tobacco products.
But officials say manufacturers have designed electronic cigarettes with sweet flavors in an attempt to attract youngsters.
They fear minors could develop a nicotine habit and pick up traditional cigarettes.
"The advertising is trying to appeal to a younger generation who are invulnerable in their own hands," Craig said.
The measure would bring electronic cigarettes into Hanover Park's oversight of tobacco products. Like conventional cigarettes, the sale of the devices would be prohibited within 100 feet of any school, child-care facility or other recreational building for kids.
If trustees sign off on the measure as expected, the village would join several suburbs -- including Mount Prospect and Mundelein -- that have adopted similar regulations.