WIU counselor stresses the dangers of e-cigarettes

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3)— With reports of lung illnesses and a potential ban of e-cigarettes, The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has issued a health alert warning against the use of e-cigarettes.

According to the Western Illinois University’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Resource Center, the use of e-cigarettes is very common among high school students and on college campuses. 

Vivian Coeur is a licensed clinical counselor at the resource center at WIU. She handles students who suffer with alcohol and drug abuse.

Coeur explained the results of an August report done by the IDPH done in August.

 “There were 22 cases in this Midwest area… Ten of them were from the Chicagoland area, of people with a severe respiratory infection in Illinois that they can’t identify,” Coeur said.

More than 50 cases of severe respiratory illness have been found in Illinois, including one death. The IDPH said nearly all of those cases shared a history of vaping or use of e-cigarettes.

“The severe respiratory infection could be a result of the vapor containing many harsh chemicals [that are] found in car exhausts, heavy metals, chemicals that are created as the liquid burns,” Coeur said.

Although using vape pens and e-cigarettes can be dangerous, it is still too early to determine the effects that vaping has on the user’s health.

If you suffer from addiction to e-cigarettes, contact the resource center at WIU at (309) 298-2457.