Illinois COVID-19 vaccine guidelines do not include pot smokers in Phase 1B; those who smoke cigarettes included

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Illinois residents who smoke marijuana will not be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine early.

That's the current guideline under the state's vaccination Phase 1B plan.

This decision was made despite the fact that cannabis smokers are at a higher risk for respiratory issues.

Officials said they are following guidance put forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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However people who smoke cigarettes or have smoked do qualify for the earlier phase.

The CDC said adults who smoke have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID.

The agency also said about 16% of Illinois adults are smokers. It's not clear how health officials will verify whether someone is a smoker.
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