The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, noting that the number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014.
The report went on to note that more than half (51.1%) of the calls to poison centers due to e-cigarettes involved young children five years and under, and about 42% of the poison calls involved people age 20 and older.
The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) was quick to respond with a statement. “We are aware of reports of increased calls to poison control centers that involve e-liquid and support federal age restrictions on the purchase of vapor products, childproof caps and proper labeling to safeguard against accidental ingestion of e-liquid by minors or adults,” said Cynthia Cabrera, executive director of SFATA, which is dedicated to advocacy, awareness, and education for the electronic cigarette industry. “As the use of personal vaporizing products has grown rapidly in popularity, SFATA has advocated for the use of childproof packaging and clear warning labels.”
She added, “In addition, we encourage parents of small children to take precautions with liquids containing nicotine, just as they would with other household products that could be toxic if ingested. As an industry, we do not market to children or teens. These products are for adult smokers who are looking for a better alternative to combustible cigarettes.”
Data for the CDC study came from the poison centers that serve the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. The study examined all calls reporting exposure to conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or nicotine liquid used in e-cigarettes. Poison centers reported 2,405 e-cigarette and 16,248 cigarette exposure calls from September 2010 to February 2014. The total number of poisoning cases is likely higher than reflected in this study, because not all exposures might have been reported to poison centers.