Springfield Looking to Ban Flavored Tobacco

A consumer advocacy group says a measure which would ban flavored tobacco products in Illinois, including vapes, could do more harm than good. State Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Lake Forest, has been a steadfast supporter of banning flavored tobacco products, which she said are intentionally targeted to children with candy-like names. She has introduced Senate Bill 3854 which would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Elizabeth Hicks, U.S. Affairs Analyst with the Consumer Choice Center, said enacting a flavor ban for vaping products will push adult consumers to switch back to smoking combustible tobacco at a time when smoking cigarettes has been trending down in Illinois. Hicks believes with more people smoking cigarettes, taxpayers will eventually have to pick up the tab.

Municipalities around the state, including Chicago, Skokie and Oak Park, have all passed some kind of ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarette and vaping products. The Preventing Youth Vaping Act went into effect Jan. 1, and prohibits companies from directing advertisements and marketing materials at people younger than 21 by including cartoons and images from video games. The annual American Lung Association “State of Tobacco Control” report tracks the efforts of the federal government and state governments on actions taken to eliminate tobacco use and enact control laws and policies. The study found that nearly 1 in 4 high schoolers use tobacco, which includes the use of e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco.