E-cigarettes Account for Increasing Numbers of Children Injured by Nicotine Poisoning

As e-cigarettes gain popularity, the number of children at risk of nicotine poisoning associated with this product has increased significantly, according to a new study to be published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

The study, “Pediatric Exposure to E-Cigarettes, Nicotine, and Tobacco Products in the Household,” (to published online May 9), found that children exposed to e-cigarettes were 5 times more likely to be admitted to a health care facility and were 2.6 times more likely to suffer severe medical outcomes than those exposed to cigarettes.

Between January 2012 and April 2015, the National Poison Data System received more than 29,100 calls — an average 729 calls per month — about nicotine and tobacco product exposures among children younger than 6 years. E-cigarette exposure accounted for 14.2 percent of total nicotine and tobacco-related calls. The monthly number of e-cigarette exposures increased by almost 1,500 percent during the 40-month study period, while calls regarding cigarette exposure remained the same, according to the study. The death of a 1-year-old child was associated with drinking nicotine liquid from an open refill container, according to the report.

The study’s authors encourage government action, product changes, and public education to prevent child poisoning associated with e-cigarettes.

The e-cigarette industry, introduced to the U.S. market in 2007, remains unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Reprinted from HealthyChildren.org