Starting Monday, electronic cigarette products will be banned inside public places in Illinois.

Kristina Hamilton of the American Lung Association said the association has been leading the charge to encourage states to expand their smoking bans to include e-cigarettes. A coalition of partners across Illinois have been working with the association for several years to prohibit vaping indoors, she said.

“We are very excited that the ban is finally taking effect on Jan. 1,” Hamilton said.

Shortly after the law was signed, Elizabeth Hicks with the Consumer Choice Center warned the measure may push Illinoisans back to cigarettes, leaving taxpayers to pick up the tab.

“Taxpayers unfortunately also suffer in addition to consumers,” Hicks said. “The annual Medicaid costs for smoking-related illnesses in Illinois is over $2 billion, which is one of the highest throughout the country.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement that banning indoor use of such products “sends a strong message that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to smoking.”

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