Hello, Westmont village officials:
I’m writing you from nearby Indian Head Park where I live with my 17-year-old daughter. I’ve been battling a Juul e-cigarette addiction my daughter—a gifted dancer—has had for the last year or longer. No matter how many I discover and throw away, she always manages to acquire more. It’s a constant battle, and only recently has she fessed up to being truly addicted and not being able to quit.
She goes to school with friends who live in Hinsdale, Burr Ridge and La Grange. Over the course of the last year, when she goes out locally with those friends or out on drives, I’ve noticed from her location services that she always winds up on the southeast corner of Warwick and Ogden avenues. She told me it was a Wendy’s.
My daughter has evasively maintained that she's always gotten the e-cigs from friends she won’t identify. Since COVID has kept her and her friends home for the last six weeks or so, I was convinced it would stop. It hasn’t. The other night she begged to go out for a “blowing-off- steam” drive and hit me up for cash to get ice cream, which I didn’t have. For some reason a credit card was satisfactory. Knowing something was up, and that I could at least trace the charge on a credit card.
You can guess where this is going. Location services showed she went to that corner—again—and when she returned home had a Wendy’s frosty, yet on my credit card was a charge of $16.49 at Citgo. I confronted her, and she admitted to buying her e-cigs there and handed over the disposable one she purchased.
Yesterday, I contacted the Westmont Police Department, which told me that this is a regular issue at that Citgo, but there was little they could do. They suggested I contact the village to do something about it, which is why I write you today. Why are there laws in place when nobody cares or does anything when they’re broken? Is the village also aware that this gas station is a known source for providing minors with their nicotine fix?
E-cigarettes are a constant and frustrating battle for parents. And, like their predecessors, cigarettes, history will likely prove them to be deadly in some form. I lost both my mother and mother-in-law to emphysema. If you don’t know anyone who has died from that, it’s essentially suffocating to death.
I will not let that happen to my daughter and, if I have to take this on one by one, I will. I started with the police department. I’m reaching out to you. I’ve contacted Citgo’s corporate office. And soon, I will be on their doorstep harassing them to stop. What will you do?
Looking forward to your response,
Indian Head Park