Bill would put tighter restrictions on e-cigarettes

Local News

ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A new bill is aimed at banning the use of e-cigarettes in all indoor public places. 

It includes restaurants, theaters, offices and on. The would build on the “Smoke Free Illinois Act” of 2008. It banned smoking inside most public vehicles and buildings, but there is a loophole which does not include e-cigarettes. If this bill passes, the same rules would apply. 

Clare Darnall was a smoker.

She says, “I started smoking cigarettes when I got to college, pretty much as soon as I turned 18.”

She is one of thousands who use e-cigarettes to help quit smoking. Many have turned to vaping as a way to curb nicotine addiction. 

Ashley Brown has been doing it for years.

She says, “With vape juice, you can lower it as you go so you can slowly quit altogether.”

Right now, there are limited restrictions on vaping. Senator Terry Link sponsored Senate Bill 1864

He says, “The rise in popularity of e-cigarettes has caused a corresponding increase in vaping in public places, including classrooms. With e-cigarettes largely unregulated, and the long-term health effects of use still unknown, it only makes sense to limit exposure in public places to protect the health of workers and patrons alike.” 

Some people who vape believe it would impose on people’s alternative option to smoking cigarettes.

Brown says, “If now they’re not going to be allowed to, then it might deter people from switching over or wanting to try to quit because they’re not going to be able to do either thing.” 

As someone who is trying to quit smoking and vaping altogether, Darnall has a different opinion.

She says, “I don’t want to see a future of people who are stuck in this same loop of not knowing how to quit.” 

She thinks the ban on e-cigarettes in public places should’ve happened a long time ago. 

“It’s just a good idea not to expose people to those things,” says Darnall. “If they’re not personally smoking e-cigarettes, I think it’s a bold assumption to think they’d want to be in a crowded club or in a building close to someone vaping.” 

The bill passed the Senate public health committee Tuesday. It’s expected to go to full Senate soon. 

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