From Illinois Business Journal news services
SPRINGFIELD – A new law that prohibits minors from possessing e-cigarettes and other tobacco-free nicotine products was signed on Friday by the governor.
State Sen. Julie Morrison, D–Deerfield, introduced the proposal last year in hopes of updating Illinois law to protect children from what she said are the dangers of the product.
“Current Illinois law prohibits the selling of these products to kids,” Morrison said. “It only makes sense that they should also be prohibited from being in their possession.”
In Illinois, it is already illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess cigarettes, cigars and all other forms of tobacco. The penalty for the first violation is a fine of $25 or 15 hours of community service, and the maximum penalty for repeated violations is a fine of $100 and 30 hours of community service.
Morrison’s plan would impose the same penalties for the possession of e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products.
While e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they still do contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that can affect fetal brain development and can alter growth and function of the nervous system. The long-term health effects of e-cigarettes have not yet been thoroughly evaluated.