Local Pediatrician Talks About the Dangers of E-Cigarettes

May 9, 2018

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says the Food and Drug Administration should immediately ban e-cigarette flavors like candy and cookies that can appeal to young people.

This comes in the wake of warnings that teens and children are increasingly using the smoking devices.

Dr. Ronald Chediak is a pediatrician at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion. He says one of his big concerns is e-cigarettes contain trace amounts of chemicals such as formaldehyde and the long-term effects of these chemicals are unclear.
"That's exactly what seems to have been happening with the e-cigarettes. They were marketed as a safer alternative. Since when was putting recreational chemicals of any kind into your body safe?"

The Illinois Senate recently voted to raise the minimum smoking age from 18 to 21.

The vote bans the sale of tobacco or tobacco related products, e-cigarettes or vaping materials to those under 21.

Chediak says he supports the proposal, especially when it comes to the increased popularity of e-cigarettes. He says the key is eliminating access to teens.
"If you make 18 the age to buy it, well there are lots of 18-year-olds in high school who can then buy them and distribute them to all their friends. Even, if you made it, like, 19 or 20, that's just the next year. They still in their peer groups have a lot of those people."

Dr. Chediak says teenagers are much more likely to get addicted to substances than adults. He says it's unclear whether it's physiological or simply because teens aren't set in their ways.