Illinois General Assembly Restricts Sale of Look-Alike Vapes

CHICAGO, May 24, 2024 — RHA commends the Illinois General Assembly for amending the Preventing Youth Vaping Act to restrict the sale of look-alike vaping products.

Senate Bill 2662 provides that “a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may not advertise, market, or promote an electronic cigarette in a manner that is likely to cause a person to mistake the electronic cigarette for a product that is not a tobacco product.”

As seen in the image provided, e-cigarette companies are creating products that resemble highlighters, pens, water bottles, soda bottles, etc. so that underage consumers can use the product around adults without raising suspicion. E-cigarettes have systemically been marketed toward youth, by using flavors that taste similar to desserts, fruit, candy, and other easy to consume flavors. This masks the harm and extremely addictive quantities of nicotine they contain.

In 2023, a survey found 2.13 million U.S. middle and high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 4.6% of middle school students and 10% of high school students.

“The continued high use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices by youth is a nationwide epidemic. These products are unregulated and contain at least 60 different chemical compounds, some of which are known to be toxic, carcinogenic, and linked to cardiac disease,” said Joel Africk, President and CEO of Respiratory Health Association. “At RHA, we welcome the efforts by our elected officials to prioritize the importance of protecting youth from these harmful products.”

The tobacco industry is always looking for a way around laws and regulations to attract new, life-long consumers, and this bill is a step in the right direction to keep a new generation of users from the harm of e-cigarettes.

If signed by the Governor, this legislation will take effect immediately.

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About Respiratory Health Association

RHA has been a local public health leader in Chicago since 1906. RHA works to prevent lung disease, promote clean air, and help people live better through education, research, and policy change. To learn more, visit RespHealth.org.