E-cigs are a growing alternative to smoking tobacco.
By Scott Probst | December 28th, 2016
Some municipalities in Central Illinois are moving to regulate them similarly to tobacco cigarettes.
Health promotions specialist for the McLean County Health Department Sarah Philos told us, “It would really be wonderful if it could expand to just everywhere.”
The City of Bloomington banned e-cigarettes in public buildings in August. The idea has since caught the attention of the McLean County Health Department.
Philos explains, “What it is doing is really protecting the people that can’t be around those things. The people that have allergies and asthma, the very old and very young. They deserve to have clean, indoor air to breathe.”
E-cigarettes have been around since the mid 2000’s, but have been gaining in popularity since. According to a Surgeon’s General report, e-cigarette use among teenagers is growing more than 3 percent a year.
Philos again, “We know that nicotine, especially on an adolescent brain really can cause problems later on. Not only for tobacco addiction, but any kind of addiction.”
The Health Department worries that smokers who switch to e-cigs won’t quit. They worry about overstated health benefits — and trading one addiction for another.
Several municipalities in Illinois already have e-cigarette bans in place, including East Peoria. We reached out to nearly a dozen local electronic cigarette retailers in the Twin Cities. None would comment on the county-wide proposals. Though many said they hope the county and local elected officials will reconsider bans that hurt their businesses.