Salem Lakes to consider regulating vaping under 18

The Salem Lakes Village Board is going to look into further regulating vaping by those under 18 years of age.

Village President Diann Tesar put the subject on the agenda of Monday’s committee of the whole after hearing from constituents who said they were interested in seeing the age of legal vaping raised to 21 from the current 18.

Tesasr said she didn’t think raising the age was necessarily fair given that the legal smoking age is 18, but she was in favor of better addressing underage vaping.

The Center on Addiction defines vaping as:


… the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles. 

There are at least two vaping businesses in the village. In addition, some convenience stores also sell vaping supplies.

Interim village administrator Mike Murdock said one way to better enforce underage vaping suggested by the the Sheriff’s Department is to regulate the possession of vaping cartridges as well as related devices under a local ordinance. Violations under a local ordinance are adjudicated in municipal court, not Circuit Court.

“They’d rather have a local, municipal court judge deal with it,” Murdock said.

Having the ordinance address underage possession of vaping equipment — not just the cartridge which can easily be hidden or discarded — also would help law enforcement, Murdock said.

“Then it becomes a little more enforceable,” Murdock said.

Murdock, a member of the Trevor-Wilmot School District Board, and Tesar, a teacher at Central High School, confirmed that vaping is becoming a problem in schools.

“It’s an epidemic at the high schools,” Tesar said.

Added Murdock: “It’s really become an issue all the way down to fifth and sixth graders.”

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