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New laws in Illinois aim to prevent e-cigs from being sold to minors

The laws make it more difficult to advertise to minors and sell to them

MOLINE, Ill. — Two new laws in Illinois were passed to make it harder for minors to access vaping products.

The two laws focus on a few different things; the first one prohibits ads from using cartoon characters, video game characters, and popular children's media from promoting e-cigarettes.

It also makes it harder to buy e-cigarettes online. Buyers will now have to use a credit card or check in the buyer’s name. The second law allows the Department of Human Services to do compliance checks and carry out sting operations to make sure no sales are being carried out to underagers.

In Moline, a local vape shop called "The Vaporosity" gets most of its clientele from ex-cigarette smokers. Owner Patti Dee Altobelli says she always makes sure to card those who look young. 

“I’ve seen kids with full beards in here who are only 19. So, I tell my employees, and have the same rules for myself, if they even look like they’re under 40, card them," she said. 

There are calendars posted all around the store to remind employees and make date checking easy. 

You have to be 21 in Illinois to buy e-cigarettes in Illinois, and it’s been that way since 2019. Altobelli says it’s not about any kind of promotion at her shop.

“We don’t promote to anybody to start e-cigarettes, or to buy it," said Altobelli. "We’re heavy with the carding too, for sure.”

Altobelli knows it’s impossible to completely cut off access to any illegal products for minors, but as far as she’s concerned, this bill is a step to make it harder for minors to access the products everywhere. 

“They’re not going to get it in here," she said. "They can get it some other way or somewhere else, but not here.”