Illinois Lawmakers Join Forces to Combat Teen E-Cigarette Use

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Illinois Lawmakers Join Forces to Combat Teen E-Cigarette Use
Illinois representative Bob Rita partners with state officials to combat illegal e-cigarette use among teens, passing House Bill 5069.

According to local American media The South Land Journal, on April 1st, Illinois State Representative Bob Rita has teamed up with the state's top law enforcement officials to work together to combat the issue of teenagers illegally using e-cigarettes.


The lawmaker recently led the Illinois House Executive Committee in overwhelmingly passing House Bill 5069. The bill mandates that e-cigarette manufacturers must provide their retail partners with a certificate for their e-cigarette products, proving that they meet safety standards set by federal and state laws. The bill is now being considered by the full Illinois House for approval.


At the same time, manufacturers must also disclose to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the applications they have submitted so that their products can be granted sales permits. This public information will form a directory of legal e-cigarette products, helping retailers purchase only legal products and assisting law enforcement in identifying and preventing the sale of illegal e-cigarettes.


Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul supports the bill. Raoul stated that:


The current federal regulatory process may be confusing, making it difficult for consumers, retailers, and even local law enforcement to determine where a product stands in this process. This legislation will help eliminate confusion and enhance law enforcement's ability to combat illegal and potentially dangerous e-cigarette products.


In 2021, Illinois has banned the sale of e-cigarette products that have not received prior federal approval. The percentage of teenagers using e-cigarettes has skyrocketed by 2600% since 2019, with millions of high school students and even younger children now using them. Due to the lack of a federally approved product database, illegal sales by retailers are difficult to track, leading to more young people being able to easily purchase harmful unregulated products.


Rita said that this measure is one of several initiatives he is pushing forward this year aimed at protecting young people from the rampant spread of illegal e-cigarette products.


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