E-Cig Poisoning on the Rise
Written by Editor   
Saturday, April 05, 2014 12:00 AM

Poisonings from electronic cigarettes and their nicotine liquid have increased dramatically, the CDC reported.  Calls to poison control centers for e-cigarette exposures rose from one per month when monitoring started in September 2010 to 215 per month as of February 2014.

E-cigarettes now account for nearly 42% of all cigarette-related calls, the group reported in the April 4 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

More than half of the calls related to the nicotine-vaporizing devices reported negative health effects, a higher proportion than with calls related to conventional cigarettes.  The most common adverse health effects cited during those calls were vomiting, nausea, and eye irritation, but also included one suicide death from intravenous injection of nicotine liquid.

"Given the rapid increase in e-cigarette-related exposures, of which 51.1% were among young children, developing strategies to monitor and prevent future poisonings is critical," the investigators wrote, calling it an "emerging public health concern."

Use by kids has been a concern, as one analysis of e-cigarette refill liquids noted that nicotine content levels high enough to be fatal to children were common.

"The e-cigarette industry specifically targets children and teens with appealing flavors like cotton candy and gummy bear, and neither these products nor their liquid nicotine refills are currently regulated by the federal government," American Academy of Pediatrics president James M. Perrin, MD, pointed out in a statement sent to reporters.

Half of e-cigarette exposures were in kids ages 5 years and younger, and the bulk of the rest were in adults over age 20, whereas 95% of exposures to conventional cigarettes were in kids 5 and under.

E-cigarette exposure was also significantly more likely than conventional cigarette exposure to be due to inhalation (16.8% versus 2.0%), eye exposure (8.5% versus 0.1%), or skin exposure (5.9% versus 0.1%) and less likely to be due to ingestion (68.9% versus 97.8%).

Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/Smoking/45124