What are e-cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a rapidly emerging and diversified product class. These devices typically deliver nicotine, flavorings, and other additives to users via an inhaled aerosol. These devices are referred to by a variety of names, including "e-cigs", "e-hookahs", "mods", "vape pens", "vapes", and "tank systems."
- E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales.
- The liquid usually has nicotine, which comes from tobacco; flavoring and other additives.
- E-cigarette products can also be used as a delivery system for marijuana and other drugs.
- E-cigarettes often look like regular cigarettes, although their appearance can vary widely.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
Most health experts agree that they are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, however e-cigarettes still pose many public health concerns:
- Most contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and adversely impacts brain development
- Not an FDA-approved quit aid
- May re-normalize smoking behaviors
- Youth use is rising rapidly
- There is no proof that the vapor is safe for the person vaping, or for those breathing in the secondhand vapor
- Little is known about their long-term effects
Are e-cigarettes regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?
- Yes. FDA now regulates the manufacturing, importing, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of e-cigarettes.
- How do new FDA regulations affect you? Get rules, regulations, and guidance here.
Can e-cigarettes help someone quit smoking?
- The FDA has not approved any e-cigarette as a safe or effective method to help someone quit.
- E-cigarettes contain nicotine, and nicotine is what makes tobacco addictive. It's not clear if e-cigarettes help people quit smoking or get in the way of people quitting.
- Instead of quitting, many e-cigarette users are continuing to use e-cigarettes while still using traditional cigarettes.
Can e-cigarettes be used in public places?
- In Illinois, there is no statewide vaping ban. However, communities can choose to include e-cigarettes in their local smoke-free policies (i.e. having stronger smoke-free laws than the state.)
- Regulation of e-cigarettes varies across countries and states, from no regulation at all to banning them entirely.
- In August 2016, Bloomington City Council unanimously voted to ban e-cigarette use in city-owned buildings.
Can communities choose to ban e-cigarettes?
- Yes– Restricting e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited is legal, easy to do, and preferred by most people.
- Action can be taken at the national, state and local levels to address e-cigarette use. Dozens of localities are choosing to incorporate e-cigarettes into new and existing smoke-free policies.
- Over 200 municipalities, including Bloomington and Chicago, have added e-cigarettes
intotheir existing smoke-free laws.
What are the benefits of banning e-cigarettes?
- Protects residents from involuntary exposure to nicotine and other secondhand byproducts of vaping
- Reduces the likelihood that children will associate the use of e-cigs with healthy behavior
- Reduces the likelihood that smoking in public places will become "re-normalized"
- Promotes compliance with existing tobacco laws
- Enhances employee productivity
I want to ban e-cigarettes. Is help available?
Yes– businesses, private property owners, employers and landlords can restrict or prohibit the use of e-cigarettes. If you would like to create a no e-cig policy, or add e-cigs into your current smoke-free policy, the health department can provide guidance and resources free of charge.
Contact the Health Promotion division at (309) 888-5968 or by email.