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DeKalb council to consider e-cigarettes, teen nightclubs

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 12:30 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – City of DeKalb aldermen will consider establishing a temporary law to deal with electronic cigarette retailers and teen nightclubs during their meeting Monday night.

The city has a tobacco ordinance, but it doesn’t have one to deal with electronic cigarettes, a battery-powered device that simulates tobacco smoking. The temporary ordinance deals with stores where e-cigarettes account for at least 20 percent of sales revenue or volume. City Attorney Dean Frieders said none of the retailers in the city of DeKalb who sell e-cigarettes fall anywhere near the 20 percent threshold, but city leaders want to have an ordinance in place in the event an e-cigarette shop decides to open in DeKalb.

“The e-cigarette is one where there seems to be an emerging marketplace,” Frieders said. “They often seem to have an age element where they add fruit flavoring to make it taste like candy, so we want to have the proper ordinance in place to make sure we are protecting the community.”

The temporary ordinance also would address teen nightclubs, those that don’t sell alcohol that boast entertainment and dancing. While the city has an ordinance dealing with teen clubs, the clubs would likely result in an inordinate amount of police calls under the current ordinance, staff said.

“We need to review this and see what, if anything, we need to do,” Police Chief Gene Lowery said. “Others’ experiences in the past have not been really positive and we are trying to be more prepared.”

The city would need to consider permanent e-cigarette and teen nightclub laws within 180 days.

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