Illinois state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris)
Illinois state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) is leading the charge in the fight to ban the sale of tobacco products or electronic cigarettes near schools.
“My main concern regarding this issue is the large number of teens using these products,” Rezin posted on Facebook. “While this legislation definitely isn't the fix-all to the problem, I look forward to working with my colleagues on other sensible solutions to prevent these products from getting in the hands of our youth.”
Rezin recently took her concerns to Springfield, where she used the recently concluded veto session to push Senate Bill 2288, which also includes alternative nicotine products on the list of those banned from being sold within 100 feet of a school. Those found to be in violation would be subject to penalty.
“The alarming trend of teenagers using vapor products should scare any parent wanting to ensure the safety of their children,” Rezin said in a recent press release. “While this bill alone won’t end the epidemic, the goal is to make it more difficult for children to get their hands on these products, reducing the likelihood of them getting hooked.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health recently announced three deaths across the state had been tied to vaping and that 166 Illinois residents with an average age of 22 have experienced lung injuries. In addition, the health department is reported to be probing at least 42 other cases across the state.
Rezin points out that a 2017 study found more than 1 in 4 of all high school students admitted using an e-cigarette within the past 30 days.
“A quarter of our young people have self-reported that they are using a product that has unknown long-term health effects and is not only available for them to consume, but is also highly addictive,” she said. “My legislation puts vapor and other tobacco products directly in line with the radius set for alcohol sales.”