Des Plaines Makes Vaping Under 18 Illegal

Instead of a $25 minimum fine, the students would be enrolled in a diversion or education program to learn about the danger of such products

The city council voted Monday to ban vaping for anyone 18 and under in Des Plaines.

But it wasn’t a unanimous vote.

Some council members wanted a higher age limit for all nicotine products.

Vaping is no longer legal in Des Plaines for anyone under 18.

"Alarming rates," said Ald. Malcolm Chester. "It is projected that as many as 16 percent of students are vaping."

After hearing those statistics, the city council approved treating e-cigs, juuls and e-liquids like tobacco — making it illegal for anyone under age 18.

Gus Garcia turned to vaping at age 17.

"I knew as soon as I turned 18 if I didn’t try something else I would go straight to those cigarettes and I didn’t want to do that," he said.

The new ordinance also offers an alternative penalty for Des Plaines students who are first time offenders.

Instead of a $25 minimum fine, they’d enroll in a program to learn about the dangers, Maine West High School's resource officer Mike Beauvais said.

“I’ve been school resource officer for four years and maybe last year and a half kids walking around school doing it in bathroom, hallways, in class, charging their things all over," he told NBC 5.

The city council considered banning vaping and smoking for anyone under 21.

No one in the audience opposed, but most council members voted against it.

“We could’ve made a statement out to a lot of communities,” said Ald. Dick Sayad.

The council agreed on starting with 18 and under and seeing how it goes before raising the ban to 21.

The city council is also waiting to see if the Illinois House votes this week for a statewide ban on tobacco and similar products for anyone under 21.

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