LOMBARD – People who sell vape pens or electronic cigarettes to anyone under 21 years old are now facing tougher penalties under new laws supported by state Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn.
“Tobacco products are unhealthy for everyone, especially youth,” said Costa Howard. “Unfortunately, vape pens and other electronic devices have sometimes been marketed as safe alternatives to cigarettes, which can mislead young people. These new laws will protect our youth from deceptive marketing of these unhealthy products.”
Electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes,” are defined as products that use a battery or other mechanism to heat a substance that produces vapor or aerosol intended for inhalation, including vape pens and electronic pipes.
Senate Bill 512 prohibits the use of cartoons and characters from video games, tv shows, movies, and other youth-oriented media to promote e-cigarette products. It also forbids sellers from marketing e-cigarettes as low-risk products. Senate Bill 555 amends the Substance Use Disorder Act to include vape shops, allowing the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to check to make sure sellers are complying with the state’s minimum purchasing age. Costa Howard voted for both bills, which were recently signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker.
“Under these new laws, e-cigarette manufacturers will be prohibited from targeting our youth, and the Department of Human Services will have new enforcement power to protect Illinois young people from unscrupulous sellers,” said Costa Howard. “We all can be proud that Illinois is taking action to safeguard our young people from these unhealthy products.”