A new youth vaping prevention law was signed by the governor of Illinois.

CHICAGO/SPRINGFIELD — Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker of Illinois announced that he has signed into law a benchmark and controversial youth vaping prevention proposal deriving from the ongoing and rampant moral panic related to underaged vaping.

According to the office of Gov. Pritzker, the laws he signed —  Senate Bills 512 and 555 — work to establish “regulations on electronic cigarettes by prohibiting marketing that targets children and ensuring retailers’ compliance with the state’s minimum purchasing age of 21,” via a press release.

“This legislation will make our communities healthier places to live, and most importantly, will save lives,” Pritzker said. “I’m proud that Illinois is taking yet another step toward protecting the health and safety of our young residents from tobacco and e-cigarettes and I want to thank Attorney General Raoul, our partners in the General Assembly, as well as the advocates and organizations for their work to make these laws possible.”

Attorney General Kwame Raoul, also a Democrat, endorsed the effort to restrict electronic cigarettes in the state legislature.

“The need to prevent youth e-cigarette use has never been more urgent, and the Preventing Youth Vaping Act gives us the tools to stop e-cigarette companies from marketing and advertising to minors. This law is a significant step forward in what must be a comprehensive approach to protecting young people from the dangers of using e-cigarettes and other tobacco products,” he said.

Raoul introduced the concept of stricter vaping regulations during the peak of the EVALI lung injury epidemic in 2019. During that time, Pritzker was one of the several governors to adopt novel Tobacco 21 legislation before Republican President Donald Trump signed legislation lifting the national minimum legal sales age to purchase tobacco products from 18 years of age to 21 years. In the legislature, Raoul also called upon the support of State Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Lake Forest.

“Vaping- and e-cigarette-related deaths and illnesses have become a nationwide outbreak that no user is immune to — no matter how young they are,” said Morrison. “We must continue to change the culture of smoking – especially for younger generations. The Preventing Youth Vaping Act is another step toward keeping these harmful products out of the hands of children.”

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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.