Update to Smoke Free Illinois Act just one of the new laws benefitting public health that took effect Jan. 1, 2024
E-cigarette use are no longer permitted in indoor public spaces in Illinois as of January 1, 2024, under a new state law signed last year by Gov. JB Pritzker.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) supports the intent of the new law, one of several taking effect in the New Year that will improve public health across the state.
HB1540, sponsored in the House by Rep. Camille Lilly and in the Senate by Sen. Julie Morrison, adds electronic smoking devices to the list of items prohibited for public indoor use under the Smoke Free Illinois Act, the indoor smoking ban that was enacted in 2008. When the new law took effect January 1, such devices can no longer be used in indoor public spaces or within 15 feet of a public entrance.
“E-cigarettes contain nicotine and other chemicals which can be harmful to both those who use them and those who are exposed to them,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “Just like smoking, vaping can lead to lung damage and nicotine addiction. We applaud the General Assembly and Gov. Pritzker for their leadership to ensure that public spaces in Illinois are safe, clean environments for everyone.”
Bars, restaurants, and other retail establishments can get more information on the requirements of the updated law, and can download signage for their establishments, at http://www.smoke-free.illinois.gov/. Consumers can use that same website to register complaints if they witness non-compliance with the indoor smoking/vaping ban.
The update to the Smoke Free Illinois Act is just one of several new laws that took effect in the New Year that are intended to improve the public’s health in 2024. Other new laws which went into effect New Year’s Day include:
• HB2238*, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Hernandez and Sen. Laura Ellman, which creates a new level of certification for hospitals providing treatment to stroke victims. The new category, identified as Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Center, Thrombectomy Ready Stroke Center, or Primary Stroke Center Plus, is a voluntary designation that can be sought by medical facilities which offer a higher level of treatment and intervention for stroke patients;
• HB3203, sponsored by Rep. Tony McCombie and Sen. Sally Turner, seeks to reduce the number of fentanyl-related overdoses by expanding access to fentanyl test strips that will allow controlled substances to be tested for the presence of the dangerous opioid. The new law will allow pharmacists and retailers to sell the strips, and allows county health departments to provide the test strips free of charge;
• HB1117*, sponsored by Rep. Natalie Manley and Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel, which will increase the number and capacity of hospice residence facilities providing end-of-life care to patients;
• SB0759, sponsored by Sen. Julie Morrison and Rep. Theresa Mah, allowing podiatrists with the appropriate training to administer certain vaccinations to patients age 18 and older, including influenza, tetanus, and COVID-19 shots.
*These new laws will require the development of additional rules for full implementation. More guidance will be coming from IDPH in the near future.