Kids and E-Cigarette Poisonings on the Rise
A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics indicates that the number of kids under age 6 poisoned by nicotine in e-cigarettes rose by nearly 1,500% between 2013 and 2015. Further, more than 90% of the kids swallowed the nicotine-laced liquid, that is smoked inside e-cigarettes. Nearly half of the exposed kids were under the age of 2. CNN.com reports that the number of kids exposed to e-cigarette products each month rose from 14 in January 2012 to 223 in April 2015.
“On average, every three hours, a poison center receives a call about a young child exposed to an e-cigarette or liquid nicotine,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury and Research and Policy at Nationwide Kids’s Hospital in Ohio. That staggering statistic means that more than 7 kids each day are the result of a poison control call due to e-cigarette poisoning.
When researchers and parents and pediatrician wonder why the rise in this problem, the consensus is that the e-cigarette companies are making their products appealing to kids, with rainbow colors and candy like flavors. Further, researchers noted that the liquid in e-cigarettes is far more dangerous than cigarettes. “Liquid nicotine is very concentrated and easily absorbed into the body and can cause serious poisoning and death among young kids after even small doses,” Smith explained.
Further, Dr. Smith emphasizes that this is not a problem of simple neglectful parenting. That, although parents may be irresponsible and leave e-cigarettes lying around where they shouldn’t, the industry needs to make the products less appealing to kids. The bubble gum, gummy candy flavors and colorful labeling entice kids to think that e-cigarettes are a fun product for them to try.
It is unacceptable,” Dr. Smith said, “that kids are being rushed to emergency departments in coma, with seizures or breathing failure, and dying. Child safety should be put first.”