SPRINGFIELD (HOI) – Several vape shop owners from around the state flocked to Springfield today, urging lawmakers to not ban flavored vapor products.
This follows 52 confirmed vaping-related respiratory illnesses in the state and the second vaping related death announced just today. The Illinois Department of Public Health believes however that the majority are linked to THC cartridges.
Vaping advocates said they believe the state can regulate and educate teens to keep them away from the devices and that banning flavored products will hurt former cigarette smokers.
“What this bill does do is close 7000 small businesses as it makes illegal 90 percent of what a vape shop sells,” said Victoria Vasconcellos, president of Smoke Free Alternatives Coalition of Illinois. “What this bill does do is disenfranchise adult ex-smokers and return those customers – who have found a way out – back to big tobacco.”
They also argued that the ban would turn people to the black market for their flavored products.
The house bill for this ban was introduced in September by Republican Rep. Grant Wehrli of Naperville.