Illinois Considers a Vape Ban in Public Spaces

Senate Bill 1561 seeks to extend the state’s existing tobacco law to include vaping products.

State Senator Julie Morrison has been striving to put an end to tobacco use by teens since entering the General Assembly. In 2019, she passed a law that increased the state’s tobacco age limit to 21. And after carrying out extensive work to combat smoking, she has turned her attention to vapes.

The state’s existing Smoke Free Illinois Act has prohibited smoking in public and within 15 feet of entrances since 2007. However, when this law took effect most people used combustible tobacco, and now Morrison would like to extend it to vaping via Senate Bill 1561. Last year she also set in place a measure that restricts marketing of vaping products so that it does not appeal to minors.

Meanwhile in 2022, Senate Bill 3854 was introduced to ban flavoured products including THC vaping devices, heat-not-burn systems and chewing tobacco products. In response to this bill and in line with arguments by tobacco harm reduction experts, Elizabeth Hicks from the U.S. Affairs analyst with the Consumer Choice Center, said that enacting a flavour ban for vaping products, will just lead former smokers back to smoking.

In fact studies keep showing that adults who switch from smoking to vaping non-tobacco flavours were more likely to be successful at smoking cessation than those who vaped tobacco flavours.

Detrimental flavour bans
Renowned smoking cessation expert and cardiologist Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos has consistently advocated for the inclusion of flavoured nicotine products in smoking cessation strategies, and has recently explained why they are so important and “instrumental” for smokers trying to quit.

In light of this and based on all the scientific data backing the use of flavours, legislators should be looking at regulating not banning the products. “In my view, legislators should seriously take this into account, especially when they start considering the regulation of flavour in ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems),” he said.