Exposure To E-Cigarette Smoking Is Poisoning More Children, Study Finds

By Beatrice Walters, Parent Herald May 11, 07:47 am
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E-cigarette smoking is not only dangerous for those who use them, but more so for children exposed to them. A new study finds that the number of poisoning cases from e-cigarettes rose by 1,500 percent between 2013 and 2015 and all of these represent children who are under six years old.

More Exposure To E-Cigarettes Leads To More Poisoning Cases Of Children

Reported by CNN, the new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, analyzed calls received by the National Poison Data System and found the increasing figures as the trend for the past two years. More than 4,000 out of 17,500 children exposed to smoking of any kind were exposed to e-cigarettes in particular. On January 2012, an average of 14 children is exposed to e-cigarette smoking per month that skyrocketed to 223 children on April 2015.

Consequently, the number of children being poisoned from e-juice or liquid nicotine also increased. Dr. Gary Smith, senior author of the study, told CNN that a poison center receives a call every three hours which is an estimated total of 7 children per day.

E-Cigarettes And Its Harmful Effects To Children

According to the American Lung Association, e-cigarettes are battery-operated that heats e-liquid from cartridges that when people inhale and release, comes out as a chemical-filled aerosol. This e-liquid is nicotine extracted from tobacco and mixed with a chemical base. E-cigarette companies then add different flavors and colorings to entice people to buy and try e-cigarettes. These make them more eye-catching to children who like rainbow colors and mistaken e-cigarettes as candies or desserts of some sort.

The said organization cited a 2014 study that the amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes are often found to be more than what their package discloses. Nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes and can cause impediments in brain development especially to newborns and adolescents, which makes the nicotine content of e-cigarettes a matter of concern.

Based on the CNN report, exposure to e-cigarettes is more harmful than regular tobaccos and other traditional smoking products. Children exposed to e-cigarettes were 5.2 times more likely to be taken to a health care facility and 2.6 times more likely to be severe than poisoning cases caused by exposure to normal cigarettes.

"Liquid nicotine is very concentrated and easily absorbed into the body and can cause serious poisoning among young children after even small doses." Dr. Smith tells CNN.

According to Poison Control, nicotine poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, seizures, and even death. Seizures can occur after 20 to 30 minutes upon swallowing products that have nicotine.

What Must Adults And The Government Do To Prevent Child Poisoning From E-Cigarette Exposure

Because of this, adults are being reminded to store their e-cigarettes in areas that are out of reach from children and to not smoke with kids around. Hotline for nation Poison Help is 1-800-222-1222 and adults are advised to call once signs of poisoning are observed.

In terms of the government, according to a report from Vox, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finally concocting regulations for e-cigarette smoking such as banning the sale to minors and establishing requirements for companies to register under FDA and have their products approved by the agency.

After reading about this study, what do you prefer more: e-cigarette smoking or normal tobacco use? We'd love to hear from you! Comment below your thoughts.

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