DECATUR -- Illinois is one of 40 states asking the federal government to start cracking down on regulating electronic cigarettes.
The plastic, battery-operated devices are rising in popularity, especially among young people. Users get nicotine without the tar and odor of normal cigarettes.
But Dr. Kimberley Hanneken at Decatur's St. Mary's Hospital said e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative.
"Anytime you're going be using a nicotine product, you're going to run the risk of becoming addicted to it," said Hanneken. "That's the bottom line. The best thing to do is not start using them at all."
Critics say current e-cigarette advertisements are marketing to children with cartoons and candy flavors.
An Illinois state law banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors does not take effect until January 1.