ó Reports of poisonings have been cropping up all over ó
Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, Nebraska, Kentucky, Oklahoma, even
Sweden. In Britain, a Staffordshire bull terrier puppy in
February died within hours of chewing a bottle of
nicotine-laced juice used to fuel the new rage: electronic
the country, the number of poisoning cases mentioning
e-cigarettes has skyrocketed. The American Association of
Poison Control Centers found a 307 percent increase from 2012
to 2013, but could not provide last yearís total until its
annual reports were completed.
battery-powered devices use cartridges filled with solutions
that deliver nicotine using an aerosol. Cases range from
teenagers "trying to catch a little bit of a buzz"
to children drinking the liquid solutions, according to Dr.
Michael Lynch, medical director of the Pittsburgh Poison
similar to situations where kids come in eating cigarette
butts," Lynch said. "Itís just another chance of
typically include nausea, vomiting, tremors and shakiness.
Lynch compares the effects to what it feels like after smoking
a cigarette for the first time. A very large exposure could
result in changes in blood pressure, heart rate, coma or even
the first case of e-cigarette poisoning in Pittsburgh was
reported in 2009, the number of cases ó children and adults
ó has consistently gone up. The number of incidents rose
from 12 in 2012 to 18 in 2013, according to the center.
have already been seven reports so far this year ó putting
2014 on track to exceed last yearís total, though no deaths
have been reported.
hard to say how much could cause serious symptoms. It all
depends on size and tolerance," Lynch said.
"Ingestion of any amount can cause symptoms."
cartridge contains an amount of nicotine similar to what is in
a regular cigarette, but the problem is itís in a "more
easily consumed vehicle," he said. The liquid makes it
simpler for children to ingest. E-cigarettes allow teenagers
to abuse nicotine because they can be sold to minors and the
odorless vapor makes smoking less noticeable in schools.
National Youth Tobacco Survey reported a rise of high school
students using e-cigarettes from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10
percent in 2012. More than 1.78 million middle and high school
students around the country said they had tried e-cigarettes.
nicotine replacement therapies, e-cigarette solutions are
unregulated, can be fruit- or candy-flavored and packaged in
containers that are not child-resistant, at concentration
levels higher than those in either cigarettes or nicotine
replacement therapies, according to Tim McAfee, director of
the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís Office on
Smoking and Health.
suggests anyone who suspects an e-cigarette poisoning call the
national Poison Center number, at 1-800-222-1222. The center
can provide recommendations on what to do next and a follow-up