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, according to a CDC study published in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The number of calls per month involving conventional cigarettes did not show a similar increase during the same time period.
The study – which compiled data from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories – also indicated that over 51 percent of those calls involved children under the age of 5.
“Use of these products is skyrocketing and these poisonings will continue. E-cigarette liquids as currently sold are a threat to small children because they are not required to be childproof, and they come in candy and fruit flavors that are appealing to children,” explains CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden in a statement.
The report notes that 42 percent of the e-cigarette poison calls were from people 20 years old or older, and the number of calls involving poisoning traditional cigarettes didn’t show a similar increase during the same period.
The agency adds that the most common effects following exposure to e-cigarette fluid were vomiting, nausea, and eye irritation.
The CDC explains that as the demand for e-cigarette products increase, new strategies need to be developed to monitor and prevent future poisonings.