Stephens-Supported Bill to Include E-Cigarettes in Smoke Free Illinois Act Signed Into Law

SPRINGFIELD – This week, legislation supported by House Assistant Minority Leader Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) became law. House Bill 1540, of which Leader Stephens is a chief co-sponsor, was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on Friday. HB 1540 will prohibit vaping in indoor public spaces and include electronic cigarettes under the definition of “smoke” and “smoking” in the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

“E-cigarettes have demonstrated adverse effects on cardiovascular and lung health, and their rise in popularity can affect our children and possibly be dangerous for vulnerable people breathing it in,” said Leader Stephens. “This legislation will help ensure that e-cigarettes are regulated like tobacco products in Illinois to protect our communities and children. I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation and see it become law.”

HB 1540 includes e-cigarettes under the definition of smoking in the Smoke Free Illinois Act. This would prohibit smoking e-cigarettes in Illinois except in private residences or dwelling places, retail tobacco stores that derive at least 80% of their gross revenue from the sale of e-cigarettes and equipment, smoking rooms in hotels and motels, and other listed spaces.

According to a 2018 National Health Interview Survey, adults ages 18 to 24 years old are the largest group of adults using e-cigarettes. The Truth Initiative also states that aerosol exposure from e-cigarettes may expose non-users to nicotine and exposure to vulnerable populations could be dangerous. There are currently no federal policies that restrict indoor use of e-cigarettes except policies in individual federal properties.

Young people who have used e-cigarettes have seven times higher odds of becoming smokers one year later than those who have never vaped, and 15 to 17-year-olds have over 16 times more odds to be current JUUL users than older age groups. A 2018 study found exposure to e-cigarette advertisements on social media among young adults was also strongly associated with positive expectations of its use, like e-cigarettes have pleasurable taste and smell, and they are safe and socially acceptable.