On March 4th, the City Council of Lockport passed an ordinance to adopt the Smoke-Free Illinois Act with restrictions of e-cigarette use in public places. This means that both smoking and vaping are prohibited inside and within 15 feet of any entrance or exit of bars, restaurants, and any other places accessible to the public in Lockport. It is effective as of today, March 16th.
January 1, 2020 marks the 12th anniversary since the Smoke-Free Illinois Act was implemented. This landmark legislation protects everyone from the health risks associated with secondhand smoke exposure. However, this law was implemented before e-cigarettes and vaping products were on the market. Thus, they are not covered by the state law. As a public health department, we encourage community leaders to take matters into their own hands if they want to address vaping.
Vaping has exploded in popularity, especially among adolescents. Per the CDC, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth today. In 2019, over five million middle and high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. Unfortunately, students in Will County have become a part of this trend. In 2018, 35% of high school seniors said that they had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, per the Will County Illinois Youth Survey.
Community Health Educators from the Will County Health Department’s Tobacco Control and Prevention program are working on initiatives to address vaping. “Vaping is a trend in Will County that continues to grow,” Community Health Educator Dan Hamilton said. “Policy changes, like restricting the use of e-cigarettes in public places, can reduce the initiation of vaping by de-normalizing the behavior.”
The City of Lockport joins 32 other municipalities throughout Illinois that restrict the use of e-cigarettes in public places, including Aurora, Braidwood, Naperville, New Lenox, and Shorewood here in Will County.
The Will County Health Department’s Tobacco Control and Prevention program is available to provide technical assistance. Municipalities in Will County that want assistance to prohibit e-cigarette use in public places can call the program at 815-774-7312.