Public vapingSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that would ban public consumption of e-cigarettes passed the Illinois state Senate Tuesday.

“It’s only fair that we treat these products the same way we treat cigarettes,” Link said. “It’s still unclear what the health effects of these devices are, and people shouldn’t be forced to be exposed to them in public places if they don’t want to.”

According to the Centers on Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 1,600 cases of vaping-related ailments reported, including 34 deaths across 24 states.

Senate Bill 1864 would expand the Smoke Free Illinois Act by prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products in public places, places of employment and within 15 feet of building entrances.

The measure could also help curb youth-cigarette use.

The recently released 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 78% from 2017 to 2018. In total, 20.8% of all high school students use e-cigarettes.

“The data is perfectly clear on this issue: we now have a vaping epidemic going on in our schools,” Link said. “Big tobacco has been specifically marketing these products to high school students for years to line their own pockets, and it’s time for us to take a stand against this predatory practice.”

Senate Bill 1864 passed the Senate in a 41-11 vote. It will now go before the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.

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