House Bill 3681 (H3681) which is currently being reviewed by Senate, would remove the authority from towns and cities to pass any laws related to vaping and tobacco products.
(A) Political subdivisions of this State may not enact any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to ingredients, flavors, or licensing, beyond a general business license, related to the sale of the following products:
(1) cigarettes, as defined in Section 12-21-620;
(2) electronic smoking devices, e-liquid, vapor products, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products, each as defined in Section 16-17-501; or
(3) any other product containing nicotine that can be ingested into the body by chewing, smoking, absorbing, dissolving, inhaling, or by any means.
(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to interfere with a political subdivision’s authority to determine its own public use policies relating to any of the products referenced in this section,” states the bill.
Discussing the proposed measure, an educator from Greenville SC, said that the bill would have dire consequences on society. “Can you imagine living in a community with a vape shop on every corner, with no policies or laws to prohibit that from happening? Furthermore, passing this bill would perpetuate practices that disproportionately target low-income communities and at-risk youths, further aggravating health disparities,”
Similarly, the American Lung Association in South Carolina issued a statement highlighting the negative consequences of the measure. “The American Lung Association urges lawmakers to oppose House Bill 3681. This bill would take away the right of local communities to pass laws on cigarettes and vaping products that address flavors, ingredients and licensing. This legislation is a win for Big Tobacco and a loss for communities that want to protect their children and youth from the harm of tobacco and flavored nicotine products.”
Illinois Senate Bill 512
Meanwhile, earlier this year the state of Illinois passed Senate Bill 512, which aims to prevent teens from being able to acquire vaping products. The measure bans any vape adverts considered appealing to adolescents, whilst also requiring vape shops to verify that any customers are 21-years or above. The bill also forbids vape retailers to offer coupons on vape products within their store.