Children, Most Common Victims of Nicotine Poisoning

With electronic cigarette use on the rise, emergency rooms across the state of Texas are seeing more cases of nicotine poisoning. More than half of those poison victims are children.
by Victoria Price
vprice@kamc.tv

LUBBOCK, TX -- A
mericans are expected to buy more than a million liters of electronic cigarette juice this year. But the people it's most likely to harm, are the least likely to use it.

More than half of all nicotine poisoning victims are children, according to data from both the Texas Poison Control Network and federal agencies. Even more alarming is the fact that the majority are small children, ages 0-5. And all it takes is one spill to soak through the skin and into the bloodstream.

Dr. Victor Test, with Texas Tech Physicians, says symptoms can range from heart palpitations and twitching, to vomiting, seizures, and even death depending on the dosage.

Most e-juices come in fun flavors -- like cherry, or bubblegum -- making them even more appealing to kids. And because they're still such a new trend, they're not federally regulated. So unlike other harmful chemicals, they're not required to come with things like warning labels or childproof containers.

"Like any kind of chemical agent, this needs to be kept out of the reach of children," says Dr. Test. "They are very susceptible to smaller doses, and we need to protect them as best we can."

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