SPRINGFIELD –  Illinois is one step closer to becoming smoke free thanks, in part, to a new law from State Senator Julie Morrison set to take effect on Jan. 1 that bans e-cigarettes inside public places.

“E-cigarettes, in all of their many forms, continue to be one of the most addictive products readily available for purchase in gas stations, vape shops and online,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “We have made solid progress toward de-normalizing the perception of tobacco, and I am proud that on Jan. 1, e-cigarette usage will be banned indoors.”

Passed in 2007, the Smoke Free Illinois Act prohibited smoking in most public places and within 15 feet of entrances, and required “no smoking” signs to be posted. However, this law took effect when people primarily smoked cigarettes and cigars.

In recent years, the use and popularity of e-cigarettes, or vapes, has increased – especially by middle school children – according to recent reports, leading Morrison to add such products to the Smoke Free Illinois Act through the passage of House Bill 1540, signed by Governor JB Pritzker on July 28, 2023.

Morrison has been an advocate for putting an end to tobacco use by teens since entering the General Assembly. In 2019, she successfully passed a law that increases the age to legally purchase tobacco to 21 and last year passed a measure to place a number of restrictions on marketing e-cigarettes to children.

"Secondhand e-cigarette aerosol contains harmful and potentially harmful chemicals. The use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed in recent years with tobacco companies targeting teens and young people with enticing flavors,” said Kristina Hamilton, Illinois advocacy director for the American Lung Association. “This expansion of the landmark Smoke-Free Illinois Act will reduce the negative effects of e-cigarettes on our communities.”

House Bill 1540 takes effect Jan. 1.