Report: E-cigarette poisonings on the rise

Tampa, Florida -- The Florida American Academy of Pediatrics reports children being exposed to liquid nicotine at an alarming rate. They said just in February alone there were 215 calls to poison centers for emergencies.

The liquid nicotine is used to refill- electronic cigarettes. The dosage can vary from a low dose at 0 mg to 100 mg.

At the Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa there have been 83 calls in from 2012-2013 for liquid nicotine exposure to children and adults. That is an alarming rate according to Dr. Alfred Aleguas, the Poison Center's managing director, because in 2011 they had only 15 calls, and the year before there were zero calls.

"These liquid nicotine bottles can be dangerous to both children and adults because they absorb through the skin," said Dr. Aleguas. "If the nicotine spills on the skin it absorbs quickly and can cause minor symptoms like paleness, to more severe symptoms like seizures to even death."

He wants to see the liquid nicotine more regulated by the CDC and FDA.

"We need to see dosage regulated; no one should be allowed to sell these one ounce doses with 10 percent nicotine concentrate," said Dr. Aleguas. "We also need to see the bottles have child resistant caps on them."

A local electronic cigarette store called Tampa Vapor opened in December 2012. The co-owner Mike Synychak said he was surprised to hear so many emergency calls went into the poison center in the last two years.

"It surprised me because out levels are sold at such low doses, the highest being 23 mg, and we changed our liquid bottle caps so that they are child -resistant," said Synychak. "In fact, they are tough to open; we had some older people tell us they were too hard to open, but we just said that is a safety feature we are sticking with."

Synychak hopes other companies join their efforts to use the child-resistant locks. He said their product is the cleanest in the industry. They operate under AEMSA (American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association) that requires certain standards for creating the nicotine liquid.

"We use steel tables to make the solution on, and we even replaced all the ceiling tiles that do not collect dust. We want the cleanest product available to our customers," said Synychak.

Dr. Aleguas and Synychak want these regulations to be developed and enforced so everyone can breathe easier.


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