Several lawmakers in the Illinois Senate are expected to pass new legislation that cracks down on underaged vaping across the state.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Democratic State Sen. Melinda Bush is the chief sponsor of Senate Bill 555, which amends the Substance Use Disorder Act to implement a law that officially cracks down on underage vaping across the state of Illinois.

“It’s amending the Substance Use Disorder Act and putting vaping and e-cigarettes into that act, so whatever they can do under the act for cigarettes, they would be able to do for vaping products,” Sen. Bush said in a public statement.

According to a local media report on the bill, Senate Bill 555 would implement compliance checks in vape shops that would be administered by inspectors assigned to the Illinois Department of Human Services. The department would also be allowed to investigate whether vape shops were selling nicotine vapes under the age of 21 years. At the state and federal levels, the minimum legal sales age for tobacco purchases is 21 years. The schedule for the Illinois Senate indicates that a final vote on the bill is set for this week.

The United States Food and Drug Administration estimates that about 20 percent of high schoolers across the nation have used electronic cigarettes at least once in 2020.

“The Department may conduct compliance checks of tobacco and vape retailers to investigate whether such retailers are selling tobacco products, electronic nicotine products, alternative nicotine products, or e-cigarettes to persons under 21 years of age in violation of the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Persons under 21 Years of Age and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act,” notes the proposed legislation.

The bill’s language adds: “The Department may expand the use of existing tobacco compliance check programs to include vape shops. Compliance checks may be conducted by underage individuals under the supervision of local law enforcement. Underage individuals who purchase tobacco products, electronic nicotine devices, alternative nicotine products, or e-cigarettes while conducting supervised compliance checks shall not be in violation of the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Persons under 21 Years of Age and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act.”

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Michael McGrady is a columnist for Vaping Post's English edition. He is a critically acclaimed journalist with awards and recognition from across the industry. He was a finalist for ECigClick's annual vape awards in 2019 and 2020, a KAC Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarship Fellow in 2019, among other honours. He is also the host of Vaping Weekly, the Post's podcast. All articles express his own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the Editor's view.