“Vaping is often marketed as being safer than cigarettes, but we are finding that may not be the case,” said Villa. “It is clear that these products are marketed to appeal directly to teens and children, while their brains are still developing and they are more vulnerable to the addictive properties of nicotine. Fruity and candy flavors draw teens in, causing them to form a dangerous, unhealthy habit at an early age.”
So far, at least six people have died from vaping-related lung complications, the first being reported in Illinois. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also recently reported that as many as 450 cases of serious lung disease have been linked to e-cigarette use, or vaping. In response, Villa is supporting House Bill 3883, an initiative to ban flavored tobacco products in Illinois. Villa also sponsored House Bill 345, also known as Tobacco 21, which raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products from 18 to 21 years old. Tobacco 21 is now law.
“Smoking is a public health issue, and too many young individuals are dying and becoming sick from vaping and the use of other unsafe tobacco products,” continued Villa. “Keeping tobacco products out of the hands of children is critical, and banning flavored tobacco products specifically geared toward them is a step in the right direction.”
For more information, please contact Villa’s constituent service office at 630-326-9319 or at StateRepKarinaVilla@gmail.com.