Illinois lawmakers want stricter regulations on e-cigs

Illinois lawmakers want stricter regulations on e-cigs

MARION, IL (KFVS) - More and more people are turning to e-cigarettes to kick their smoking habits and shop owners are reaping the benefits.

But some Illinois senators worry the product is being marketed to the wrong crowd, teens.

"Adults like flavors. Your alcohols, your cigarettes come in a wide variety of flavors and that's because you don't grow out of that," said Josh Brown, owner of The Vape Shop.

Brown has been in business for less than six months.

He says the majority of his customers are those looking put out their nasty habits and pick up an electronic cigarette.

"If you like Lucky Charms as a kid, you'll like them as an adult," he said.

Problem is, not everyone who walks through his door is 18.

Federal law prohibits the sale of tobacco cigarettes to anyone under 18, but there is no such restriction for e-cigarettes.

Despite there not being a law saying he can't, Brown chooses not to sell to minors.

"It is very simple," he said. "You just ask them."

While lawmakers say shops like Brown's market their products in flavors that appeal to children, adults say it's for them.

"I love taste," said Mike McCall who has smoked for 40 years.

He credits e-cigs for helping him quit his addiction and saving his life.

"There are so many tastes you can choose from, it is very enjoyable. It is very enjoyable," he said.

"Most people that I see in here want to get away from tobacco and that's why we have the variety of fruit flavors," said Ashley Tharp.

Tharp, owner of Cool Breeze Vapor in Marion offers a wall of over 65 flavors to choose from.

"My favorite is vapor luck," she said.

While she's seen this product help hundreds of her customers, she still wouldn't’t want her own children to try it.

"Obviously the better choice would be to vape, but I wouldn't want my children to do either,” she said.

The lawmakers called on e-cigarette companies to "take immediate action" to prevent the sale of their products to children and teenagers, including product promotion through social media and event sponsorships intended for youth audiences.

They also asked the companies to stop all radio and TV advertisements.

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