e-cigaretteThe Respiratory Health Association (RHA) applauds Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for taking action to restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to minors. Senate Bill 1756 ensures that e-cigarettes will be subject to the same laws as conventional cigarettes and other tobacco products when it comes to selling to minors.

Licorice and cotton candy flavors

“E-cigarettes can contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, as well as other chemicals,” said RHA president and CEO Joel Africk. “They also come in many flavors that may appeal to youth, such as licorice, cotton candy and gummy bears.”

The RHA joins others in the public health community in expressing concern that e-cigarettes could increase nicotine addiction and may lead young people to try conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.

A lot of unknowns

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that combine nicotine, other chemicals and flavoring into a vapor that can be inhaled. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes have not been fully studied. Currently, consumers of e-cigarette products have no way of knowing the health risks associated with their use or how much nicotine or what other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled. The FDA may assert federal regulatory authority over the sales and marketing of these products in the fall.

The RHA fully supports restricting the sale of electronic cigarettes to young people in Illinois.

“We applaud Gov. Quinn, Sen. Mulroe and Rep. Willis for their leadership in keeping electronic cigarettes out of the hands of young people,” added Joel Africk.

Source: Respiratory Health, visit www.lungchicago.org.