New Law Bans Vaping from Public Buildings in Illinois
In an escalation of anti-vaping measures taking hold around the world, Illinois is about to ban vaping from all public buildings. The law will expand existing public smoking regulations and add vaping to the list of activities prohibited from anywhere in, near, and around government buildings. State Senator Julie Morrison authored the bill and has been a long-time anti-smoking advocate. She led the push for the measure to be passed and applauded its passage along with representatives from public health advocates such as the American Lung Association. But vapers want to know if this law means vaping will be banned in more places. This article will examine the law’s origins and what it means for vaping in Illinois.
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Where does the Law Come From?
House Bill 1540 is the work of State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest), who has long championed anti-smoking measures. Sen. Morrison was instrumental in passing the Smoke-Free Illinois Act in 2017, which the law HB 1540 is based on. The 2017 Smoke-Free Illinois Act made smoking within 15 feet of any public building illegal, and the new law builds upon it.
The law also aligns the state with 17 other states that have banned vaping in public places.
Continuing her work toward making Illinois a smoke-free state, @SenatorMorrison has passed a bill through the General Assembly to ban vaping inside public buildings.https://t.co/LYLwFFaXL8 pic.twitter.com/JwPOc9m67h
— IL Senate Democrats (@ILSenDems) May 11, 2023
Senator Morrison was particularly inspired to act on behalf of the victims of secondhand vapor. Morrison said in a statement, “There’s absolutely no reason a person – from a pregnant woman to a young child – should be exposed to harmful e-cigarette products while in public.”
🚬House Bill 1540 would the use of e-cigarettes indoors. The measure expands upon the Smoke Free Illinois Act, putting Illinois in line with 17 other states that have banned the use of e-cigarettes indoors. https://t.co/ixd4A1kr1O
— Julie Morrison (@SenatorMorrison) May 11, 2023
Kristina Hamilton, a director with the American Lung Association, also applauded the measure citing Morrison’s “leadership in strengthening our state’s smoke-free law to protect people from harmful secondhand exposure to e-cigarettes.”
Thank you for your leadership on this, @SenatorMorrison! https://t.co/gD59KWc11M
— Kristina Hamilton, MPH (@KristinaMPH) May 10, 2023
Illinois and Vaping
The new measure is an extension of laws that have already been on the books since 2017 when the state government passed the Smoke-Free Illinois Act. This new law treats vaping the same as smoking by barring it from all indoor public spaces within 15 feet of all entrances. E-cigarettes will also be added to all signage warning against smoking or vaping.
Morrison was also essential in getting the state to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products in 2021. That legislation was part of a national push to get all states and the federal government to raise the minimum age, and it was successful, as the federal government and several states raised the age to 21.
How People Are Reacting
There is not much surprise from the measure from vapers in Illinois or around the country. All vaping advocates support banning indoor spaces and anywhere near public buildings, and the government is right to ensure it is a law. The measure does not take away any rights but instead protects the rights of all people to live in a smoke and vape-free environment.
There has not been much reaction to the measure in vaping circles, especially on social media. There has been a muted reaction to the law, with only official news channels announcing the news without commentary. The lack of an outcry is mainly because no one opposes the law, and all parties are on board.
The vaping ban is something that everyone wants, and no one is against it. No one is surprised that Illinois is the next state to make it illegal after 17 other states have already done so. The bill faced no opposition and was an easy win for the state legislature. What this means for the future of vaping in Illinois is too hard to tell. There is no push to ban vaping in all locations, indoors and outdoors, and the state government has more important matters to deal with than implementing a total vaping ban.