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Local

Rezin files bill to combat youth vaping epidemic

Vaping product sales would be prohibited near schools

State Sen. Sue Rezin
R-Morris
38th District
State Sen. Sue Rezin R-Morris 38th District

SPRINGFIELD — In light of the recent health issues related to electronic cigarettes, state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) has filed legislation aimed at reducing underage individuals’ access to vapor products.

Senate Bill 2288 prohibits the sale of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products within 100 feet of a school. Retailers who violate this provision would be subject to penalties.

“The alarming trend of teenagers using vapor products should scare any parent wanting to ensure the safety of their children,” Rezin said. “While this bill alone won’t end this epidemic, the goal is to make it more difficult for children to get their hands on these products, reducing the likelihood of them getting hooked.”

In a 2019 study, 27.5 percent of high school students reported using an e-cigarette within the past 30 days, which Rezin said demands the attention of public officials.

“A quarter of our young people have self-reported that they are using a product that has unknown long-term health effects and is not only available for them to consume, but is also highly addictive,” Rezin said. “My legislation puts vapor and other tobacco products directly in line with the radius set for alcohol sales.”

Rezin is also working on additional legislation to combat this health crisis and is considering the following:

• Placing stricter controls on how these products can be marketed to young people, marketed near schools, or marketed as being healthy.

• Addressing the ongoing problem of so-called "strawman" sales.

• Requiring all retailers to display a notice that warns consumers that vaping unregulated THC is proven to be dangerous to their health.

• Requiring that all e-cigarettes be sold only from behind the counter, or displayed in an age-restricted area.

• Creating a statewide database to collect information regarding vaping-related illnesses in an effort to learn more about its negative health effects.

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