SPRINGFIELD (IRN) — A state senator plans to continue a push for more regulations for vaping products and e-cigarettes in Illinois over opposition from the industry.
Illinois recently raised the purchase age of vaping products from 18 to 21, as part of the Tobacco 21 law that took effect this month. Lawmakers also increased the taxes on vaping products.
State Sen. Terry Link, D-Vernon Hills, said he plans to seek further regulations, including a ban on flavored vaping products.
“I’d like to keep it under Smoke-Free Illinois, get it out of [indoor places] and control it a bit more,” Link said.
He said that while adults should be able to make decisions for themselves, added regulations make sense in this case.
“We could say that about a lot of things but I think sometimes government has to control things,” Link said.
Jon Sharp, a manager with Upper Limits, a vape and accessories shop in Springfield, said Illinois adults are already over-regulated.
“We have enough of a nanny state in Illinois as it is,” Sharp said. “Now you’re going to tell me what’s OK for me to put in my body? No. I don’t need Sen. Link to tell me what I want to put in my body. I’m capable of making that decision myself.”
Link also wants to ban flavored vaping products. Some claim the flavors – from mint to mango – are designed to entice children.
Sharp said that’s nonsense, especially after Illinois increased the vaping age to 21.
“You walk down any liquor store aisle and you see 70 different flavors of vodka,” Sharp said. “Are the vodka manufacturers wanting kids to drink vodka? No. Adults like things that taste good. That’s the appeal”
Sharp and others in Illinois’ vaping industry have said the regulations and higher taxes are hurting their businesses.
The state legislature’s fall session has days scheduled in October and November. That’s when lawmakers could take up various pieces of legislation they didn’t pass in the Spring.