E-cigarettes also are banned on CTA property

In case you were wondering, e-cigarettes are banned on CTA buses, trains and other properties.

A CTA spokesperson confirmed this for me after an inquiry from Tattler reader John. He said he confronted a person smoking an e-cigarette on a bus:

We had a short altercation and he stopped smoking and actually got off the bus before his regular stop. Guess he did not appreciate my prediction about his medical future and my rebuttal that he was misinformed that e-cigarettes are not harmful to one’s health.

The spokesperson said in response to my query about the the policy:

E-cigarette consumption, like smoking, is prohibited on CTA property and, as you know, the city banned it in indoor places earlier this year, which would include the inside of a bus. If your reader has specific info, such as bus route, time of day and bus number, I’m glad to report that to our bus operations management.

So John, if you can help with that, have at it.

Meanwhile, I confronted a “regular smoker” on the Red Line recently. It was just me and two other guys left on my car that day when I smelled cigarette smoke. I asked: “Are you going to put that out or do I have to call the motorman.”

They just laughed at me, so I called the motorman.

The motorman was great.

He immediately announced a few times on the PA system:

“There is no smoking on this train. If you don’t put it out now I will stop the train and ask you to leave.”

They laughed some more, but did put it out and left at the next stop.
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  • I want smoking banned inside all bus shelters & within 20 feet of a shelter.
    Also ban smoking on all Metra platforms & stairways!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Absolutely! On top of that, anyone throwing a cigarette butt on the ground should be tasered.

  • Smoking of E cigarettes on trains and buses should not be allowed. On an open air platform, I see no problem with it.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    I never want to be downwind of that poison!
    Quit smoking & then you'll be amazed at how much more money you have every month & that food tastes better.

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    What a bunch of anal retents you people all are.

  • In reply to Matthew Sheffield:

    Screw you, you self-center A-hole. My mother died of heart disease due to a life of smoking. Her two brothers dropped dead in their mid 40's after smoking 2 packs a days for their entire adult life. My brother has lung cancer, which has now spread to his brain, after smoking 40+ years.

    Frankly, I don't care to inhale a know carcinogen. If I stood at a bus stop and sprayed DDT in your face, I assume you'd have a problem with it. Somehow, our f*cked up society previously gave smokers a pass, even though the overwhelming evidence points to the simple fact that smoking kills people, smokers, and those around them.

    You want to smoke? Go sit in your basement and knock your socks off. 'Just don't smoke where I have to breath your deadly fumes.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Spiny, consider this a warning: I don't allow name-calling on CTA Tattler. I understand this is a very sensitive subjective for you. And I know that Matthew started it with his comment. But you're really pushing it.

    I like having you around here, so please don't devolve to name-calling in your comments.

    Thank you.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Someone should warn Matthew Sheffield.

  • In reply to jack:

    Matthew should be considered warned too.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    'Sorry, Kevin. I'll behave. :-) Yes, it's a sore spot. When you watch your loved ones die prematurely in front of you, it really strikes a nerve. It's bad enough when a smoker kills themselves, but when they expose those around them to their toxins, it goes too far. I like to drink beer, but I don't drive drunk, and I don't toss my beer on other people. If I did, society would frown upon it, and rightfully so. When one's addiction directly affects others, we have to speak up.

    I was watching a documentary last night about the Apollo 8 mission, and it was strange seeing the people in Mission Control smoking away on cigars and cigarettes in the control room. It wasn't too long ago that there were "non-smoking" sections on airplanes. 'Kind of like having a "No peeing" section in a swimming pool.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    No worries Spiny. you are forgiven! So sorry to hear about all the senseless deaths in your family caused by smoking.

    And I do wish there really was a "no-peeing" section in the pool. I would swim only there!

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Thanks. My uncle literally died of a heart attack while eating breakfast at age 46, right in front of his wife and kids. One minute he's eating a spoonful of cereal, and the next he's dead with his head in the cereal bowl. He smoked 2+ packs of cigarettes a day for 30+ years, and the autopsy showed that his heart was a mess. His brother died in his mid 40's of a massive heart attack shoveling snow. 'Same deal with the smokes.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Or on L car #5326.

  • In reply to jack:

    Rotflmao! :-)

  • In reply to Matthew Sheffield:

    I rarely want one, but right now I'd like a 'like' button here.

  • What is it about smoking that takes almost normal people and turns them into complete, self-absorbed slobs? As the snow melts, the "smoking" area near my condo is a pig sty. There are literally hundreds of butts on the sidewalk, and surrounding vegetation, even though there are numerous cigarette disposal stations in the smoking area. Do smokers feel so prosecuted these days that they flip the bird at society by littering? Maybe they have so little energy that walking 3 feet to a disposal is simply too much effort?

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Addiction. No different than beer bottles and heroin syringes all over the place. I'm sure the only reason why some defecate on L cars isn't that there isn't a bathroom.

    But with reports that gang bangers are tagging brand new L cars, I guess nobody cares.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    I've always wondered why it is "more" socially acceptable to discard cigarette butts on the street, but if you threw other trash around you as you walked down the street people would think you are a litterer.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    On the subject of littering, believe it or not it used to be more socially acceptable. Prior to the 1950s it was more widespread. I prefer the norm we now have, but understand that whatever our standards are now, they weren't always that way. And it takes a while for things to shift from the old ways to the new. As for throwing cigarette butts anywhere, for some reason that trailed behind the rest of the change in littering behavior. Perhaps because it was also a part of the socially acceptable smoking that prevailed for a while.

    I cringe to think of the way things were as late as the 1970s. I myself still smoked at that time, at my desk out in an open area of the office. It must have bugged some people. A few years later I recall, having quit, when someone entered my office with a lit cigarette and I asked her to take the cigarette out of my space. At that point things were just on the cusp of it being all right to make such a request, though smoking in others' space was still something people did if not asked otherwise. Yes, we've come a long way.

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    Is it socially acceptable? I didn't know that. If smokers think it's okay it's probably because it's tiny and they think one won't make a difference. Not understanding the concept of accumulation, and that they're not the only person doing it. I've never understood why people choose to litter, especially in their own neighborhood. Why would they want to see garbage around them every day?

  • In reply to Wendy Darling:

    But that gets into the hoarder question, and for instance, I know someone who never met a newspaper she could throw out. Referred her to "Organizing with Erin," and had her watch some "Neat" show; no luck. Then she cried that someone reported her property to the village building department. That was just the exterior; I wonder what would have happened if the building inspector went inside.

  • In reply to Wendy Darling:

    Technically, it is littering, and the smoker could get fined. I've half-joked for years that I could personally solve the budget crisis in Chicago by deputizing me, and giving me a ticket book. Between the smokers tossing cigarette butts, and the drivers blocking intersections, and failing to use turn signals, I'd personally issue $10,000's worth of citations every day.

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    I agree with banning smoking and cigarettes, but don't agree that eCigarettes are the same thing. The scent, the cigarette butts, the tar, the smoke... none of those are there with an eCig. eCigs contain no tobacco products - even the nicotine is synthetic. I have no problem saying we should explore the health risks involved, but I'd much rather that those who are addicted to nicotine smoke eCigs and not subject the rest of us to secondhand smoke or the smell. And yes, don't smoke - but I don't think eCigarettes are the same scourge on society that cigarettes are.

  • In reply to nodaybuttoday:

    Yes, e-Cigs are just as bad for you & everyone around you as regular cigarettes are.
    As for the "synthetic nicotine" remark, well, Dilaudid is synthetic morphine & is a really great pain killer. I had two weeks on it in the hospital.
    But we still regulate due to the dangers & so we must also regulate e-Cigs, but in reality, we should tax all tobacco products out of existence!

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    In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Please sir, give me your best uneducated opinion on how ecigs can possibly be harmful to anyone's body. There's three main ingredients in E-fluid. Propylene glycol; a common food flavoring ingredient, vegetable glycerin; a vegetable oil extract, and nicotine; which has actually been proven no more harmful than caffeine. I anxiously await your response.

  • In reply to Zane Fowler:

    1. Just because propylene glycol is allowed as a food coloring, doesn't make it safe, or have you forgotten about red #40?
    2. Nicotine is anything but safe. The National park Service used to use it in tranquilizer guns in Yellowstone to kill rogue bears.
    Repeat, they used nicotine to kill rogue bears!
    3. You are a fool parroting the worst pseudoscience emanating from Big Tobacco!

  • Happy that CTA has come out with the e-cigarette ban. And Kevin, kudos to you for engaging those customers (and eventually the motorman) about putting cigarettes out.

  • For what it's worth, Chicago's indoor and public ban on e cigarettes was voted on in January but does not go into effect until April 29 (http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140115/downtown/e-cigarettes-banned-indoors-sales-minors-prohibited).

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    Unless an elevated train car is a "vehicle" or a "building," it might not be covered by the City 's so-called "clean" indoor air ordinance. See definition in section 1-217 of the Illinois vehicle code

  • In reply to Dan O’Day:

    Doesn't much matter. Smoking has been banned since the streetcar days, and CTA undoubtedly has the authority to pass its own ordinance.

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    The CTA is not a home rule unit of government.

    The CTA may be empowered like other property owners under the above-linked ordinance in section 7-32-030 to ban smoking in certain non-enclosed areas, but it would seem that a train car is not "non-enclosed."

  • In reply to Dan O’Day:

    So, are you going to sue CTA to say that the no smoking signs they have on their vehicles are illegal?

    Section 31 of the MTA Act (70 ILCS 3605/31) says " The Board shall have power to pass all ordinances and make all rules and regulations proper or necessary to regulate the use, operation and maintenance of its property and facilities, and to carry into effect the powers granted to the Authority, with such fines or penalties as may be deemed proper."

    Also, while the CTA is a municipal corporation, I don't think that you can argue that most of the acts committed on its equipment are also not committed in the City of Chicago. There isn't a separate CTA police force. I'm also sure that if an act occurs in one of the 35 suburbs CTA "serves," the driver is authorized to call a suburban cop.

    Finally, I think you are engaged in legal sophistry, having cited a tertiary source.

  • In reply to jack:

    While I agree with the bulk of your reply, Amlegal.com is where the city directs everyone to the online municipal code, as do many other cities.
    Then the clerk's office puts a BS disclaimer that the Amlegal site may not be correct.
    But the city doesn't have a site with the municipal code, just links to Amlegal.com.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I don't think that the Chicago Municipal Code was at issue here, other than if someone thinks that it somehow excludes CTA. The argument up to this point had to do with state statutes, and there is an official source on the web for that.

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    A person would probably not have standing to sue the CTA to challenge it's no-smoking signs or policies. You would need to get ticketed and then fight the ticket. Since each day is a separate violation, you can only get one ticket under the Chicago ordinance in a day, even if you smoke on the CTA 20 times that day.

  • In reply to Dan O’Day:

    Well, it is either that, or I'm sure that the tobacco lobby could find some smoker who would say that they face an imminent threat of arrest in violation of the law. After all, that's how the gun lobby got all the city and state laws declared unconstitutional.

    In any event, it isn't going to be resolved on some blog.

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