Public health | WGLT

Public health

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure on Tuesday that will allow medical cannabis to be used as an alternative treatment for conditions often treated with opioids, such as cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and more.

Public health advocates and some state lawmakers spurned Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto a bill that would have raised the legal tobacco age to 21.

Rauner axed the bill last Friday, though his own Department of Public Health supported it. While he called smoking “detrimental” in his veto message, the governor said Illinois couldn’t take the risk of losing tobacco sales tax revenue to neighboring states.

Chris Hiatt blows a large plum of vapor in the basement of The Smoker's Den in downtown Bloomington
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Vaping is now the most popular tobacco product among teens and young adults, thanks to $63 million in traditional and social media marketing last year by major e-cigarette companies.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Six months into the job, the new director of the McLean County Health Department is staring at a lengthy to-do list. It’s filled with complex problems with no easy solutions—opioid abuse, obesity, and even dental health, to name a few.