Rep. Rita Joins Attorney General to Fight Underage Vaping – The Southland


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Rep. Rita Joins Attorney General to Fight Underage Vaping (Blue Island, IL) — State Rep. Bob Rita has joined Illinois’ top law enforcement officer in the ongoing fight to protect youth from illegal vaping products.

Rita, D-Blue Island, recently led the Illinois House Executive Committee in overwhelming approval of House Bill 5069. The legislation requires vapor manufacturers to give their retail partners a vapor-product certificate showing how their products meet federal and state law safety standards. It now is up for consideration by the full Illinois House.

Manufacturers also must disclose the application they have filed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so their products can be approved for sales. Those disclosures will create a directory of all legal vaping products so retailers buy only legitimate products and to help law enforcement identify and keep illegal vapes off store shelves.

Rep. Rita was joined in support of the legislation by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Both condemn a flood of vape products from overseas that appeal to young people but either have been rejected by the FDA or have not gone through the proper safety checks.

“The current federal regulatory process can be confusing, and it’s difficult for consumers and even for retailers and local law enforcement to know for sure where products stand in that process,” Raoul said. “This bill would help clear up confusion and would add to the toolbox of law enforcement trying to combat the sale of illegal and potentially dangerous vape products.”


John Heiderschedit, Criminal Defense Attorney; Subscription Lawyer; Chicago Lawyer

In 2021, Illinois banned the sale of vape products that do not comply with regulations requiring pre-market federal approval. Foreign manufacturers try to skirt the requirement by offering flavored, single-use “disposable” products that change names and falsify importation documents.

Youth vaping use has skyrocketed by 2,600 percent since 2019, and millions of high school students and even younger kids now are using e-cigarettes. Without a database of federally approved products, illegal sales by retailers are hard to track and more youth get their hands on harmful contraband.

Rita said this measure is one of several he is working on this year to keep youth safe from the scourge of illegal vaping products.

“While we wait for more action from the federal government, Illinois youth are being put in danger every day,” Rita said. “We must take action, and this legislation will give our retailers and law enforcement the help they need to keep legal products on the shelves and hold bad actors accountable.”

Rep. Rita Joins Attorney General to Fight Underage Vaping


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