Madigan calls for e-cigarette restrictions

Published 09/24 2013 09:09PM

Updated 09/25 2013 10:54AM

CHAMPAIGN -- Smokers use electronic cigarettes as a healthier, cheaper option, but now state leaders fear it's becoming an addictive trend for teenagers. In Illinois, the age restriction is 18, but there are not any federal restrictions.

More than one million teens have said they have tried electronic cigarettes. That is why 40 Attorneys General, including Lisa Madigan, have signed a letter to the Food and Drug Administration. They want e-cigarettes regulated the same as tobacco products.

E-cigarettes have no advertisement restrictions, and state leaders say they target children through cartoon-like advertising during primetime TV hours. It has led to a surge in sales. They are marketed as a safe alternative, but state leaders say they're highly addictive. Smokers like Champaign resident Timothy Tobias agree.

"I find I'm smoking twice as many as I did before, just because I feel the nicotine I was putting in my body was still causing the addiction to fester. Now, here I am smoking more than I was before. I still want to quit, but it's even more impossible."

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, without the chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes. Attorneys General want the FDA to make regulations on e-cigarettes by the end of October.

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