CHICAGO (WCIA) — It is now prohibited in Illinois for someone to use an e-cigarette in an indoor, public place.
Governor Pritzker signed into law on Friday a bill that added electronic smoking devices to the 2008 Smoke-Free Illinois Act, which banned smoking in most public spaces in the state. The law took effect prior to e-cigarettes becoming prevalent, but the amended act now bans them from being used in those same indoor spaces.
“Illinoisans deserve to enjoy public spaces without being exposed unwillingly to secondhand vapor and other electronic cigarettes byproducts,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Now, e-cigarettes and vapes will qualify under existing anti-smoking laws, reducing air pollution and making a more accessible, healthy Illinois.”
Like combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain addictive nicotine in addition to flavorants and other aerosolized components that can damage lungs over time. Secondhand vapor can pose the same risk to people passing by.
“A tobacco epidemic continues in our state. We have made great progress, but the surge of use of e-cigarettes has threatened that progress and lured more people toward a deadly addiction,” said Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest), sponsor of the legislation. “I am proud to have passed a measure to ban the use of e-cigarettes indoors, and I thank the Respiratory Health Association and American Lung Association for their advocacy.”
The American Lung Association and the Respiratory Health Association advise against e-cigarette use, particularly for young people.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network also released a statement, commending the Illinois General Assembly passing the legislation and Pritzker for signing it.
“Prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in workplaces, including restaurants, bars and gaming facilities, can protect the public’s health by preventing nonusers from being exposed to nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals in the aerosol emitted by these products. No one should have to choose between their health and their job. ACS CAN supports everyone’s right to breathe clean smoke-free air. We commend the General Assembly for passing this important legislation and look forward to working with them to pass further public health initiatives.”