Poisoning Via E-Cigarette Liquids Is on the Rise

Categories: Broward News

Michael Dorausch/Wikipedia Commons

Although there was just one call for help made in September 2010 for e-cigarette poisoning, there were more than 200 such calls made to poison help hotlines in February of this year, according to a report released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There's been an increased awareness about the possible dangers of liquids used in electronic cigarettes, which typically contain high concentrations of nicotine. Miami-Dade recently banned the use of e-cigs in county buildings, and a bill proposing the banning of selling e-cigs to minors passed in Florida's House Regulatory Affairs Committee last week; it'll go to the House now.

It would be easy to assume that most poisonings came from minors finding their way into the packaging.

But the CDC reported that more than 40 percent of the poison calls were for people over 20 years old.

According to a news release:

The study found that while most calls involving e-cigarette liquid poisoning came from accidental ingestion of the e-cigarette or its liquid, about one-sixth of the calls related to someone inhaling these items. Exposure through the eye and the skin were also reported.

"Coming into contact with e-liquid that has a concentrated solution of nicotine is highly dangerous," said Norman H. Edelman, M.D., senior medical adviser of the American Lung Association. "As with any poison, these liquids must be kept away from children. Adults also must be aware of the danger of touching it and ingesting it."

Brandon Leidel, CEO of VaporShark, a local e-cigarette company, rejected the report upon hearing of it.

"Well, my response would be: I want to see the reports for other hazardous chemicals laying around the house," he said in a phone interview. "To me, it sounds like a small number. You're talking about the whole nation in terms of poison calls. I mean, how many kids get their hands on alcohol or any dangerous chemical that we just keep in the house?"

(After the interview, Leidel provided stats from the National Capital Poison Center (poison.org), reporting that in the Washington, D.C., metro area in 2013, there were 2,541 poison calls for cosmetics in children under 6, which is about 204 calls per month. There were 2,763 poison calls for pain relievers in adults over 20, about 230 calls per month.)

Leidal explained that because the FDA doesn't regulate e-cigarette sales, a minor so inclined could fake his/her way through a few forms online, confirm a legal age, and get e-cigarettes via mail. Because the FDA mandates things like alcohol, say, a minor would have to provide a legal I.D. upon receiving the alcohol.

As for the adults making poison calls at a higher rate, Leidal says, well, that just happens.

"We've had people call here with crazy stories. One guy picked up his bottle and thought it was Visine and squirted it into his eye," Leidel said. "This happens with every type of hazardous chemical. People do this stuff all the time, and to single this out is unfair."

"I don't think it's ever going to go away. I don't think there's anything we can do to make it go away," he continued. "I don't think we should focus such a big deal on this, though. There are things we already do in terms of labeling. There's a little symbol on the top of the caps that a blind person can feel to know if it's it's hazardous or not."

The FDA has announced plans to regulate the e-cigarette business, but the rules have not yet been formed. Regulation is not something Leidel is opposed to.

"The quality of liquids will be increased because of federal oversight," he said. "It's going to be a good thing for the industry. Lot of companies that make e-liquid in their house won't be able to, and the FDA will elevate the business. Online sales are going to drop for everyone, but it'll drive people to the stores. I'm for it."

Follow Ryan Cortes on Twitter.

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Charles Mogg
Charles Mogg

By this logic, I'm fucking invincible! I've swallowed, and spilled e-juice all over me! I'm a fucking highlander!

Jeremy Jensen
Jeremy Jensen

Shampoo is harmful if you drink it. Lets ban it

Joel Kodner
Joel Kodner

Being a douchebag is bad for your health.

Blossom Pierce
Blossom Pierce

Bleach is dangerous too if you drink it. Let's ban it.


Note well that that ONE city gets the same amount of calls for cosmetics or prescription drugs, for a small segment of kids, as the entire nation gets for ecigs, for everyone.

And check out the actual harm statistics -- cosmetics and drugs actually kill people, ecigs and eliquids don't.


On March 23, 2014, the New York Times published an article by Matt Richtel, “Selling A Poison, Liquid Nicotine For E-Cigs”. The article is based on the FACT that pure liquid nicotine is extremely dangerous to have around. Ingesting it can kill a person and exposure to the skin is also very dangerous.
E-liquid should be prepared by a chemist  or someone with training to deal with hazardous materials. In regards to the finished product the cartridges or the bottles of e-liquid, pure liquid nicotine accounts for zero to 3.6% of the solution. If you get it on your hands wash them, if some leaks into your mouth rinse thoroughly with water.
E-cig liquid and cartridges should be kept out of reach of children along with other hazardous items around the house such as prescription drugs, cosmetics, cleaners, plants toothpaste etc.
Fluoride toothpaste contains sodium fluoride which is a hazardous waste product from making fertilizer. It is used in rat poison and pesticides.
Children have died from eating toothpaste and fluoride treatments.
Nicotine gum and lozenges are also hazardous if ingested by children.
Mr. Richtel reports that there were 1351 calls to poison control and 365 emergency room visits in 2013, involving e-liquid.
The Centers for Disease Control reports :
1. 832,000 people were seen in the ER room due to unintentional poisonings in 2013.
2. 91% of the 39,000 poisoning deaths in 2013 were the result of drug overdose.
3. 60,000 children each year are in the ER room each year because of drug poisoning.
National Institute of Health- Tylenol (acetaminophen) overdose, leading cause of liver failure,
78,000 E room visits, 38,000 hospitlizations, 150 deaths per year in the U.S.
The New York Times had the paper and the ink necessary to provide information on other poisoning dangers around the home.
They chose not to which makes me believe that the liquid nicotine article is part of the campaign to put ecigs out of business and protect the Pharmaceutical Industry, which sells  expensive smoking cessation products which include the mind altering, psychiatric drugs Chantix and Zyban and their dangerous side effects, suicide risk etc.
BLOOMBERG News, Feb 19, 2014, “Glaxo Memo Shows Drug Industry Lobbying On E-Cigarettes”
Glaxo and Pfizer sell gum and lozenges containing NICOTINE. The mini lozenges look like Tic Tacs and  could easily be mistaken for candy. The Nicotrol inhaler uses cartridges that contain LIQUID NICOTINE and nasal spray contains liquid nicotine and six other chemicals.. These facts are not mentioned in the current ecig poisoning scare.
Drug companies contributed eleven million dollars to politicians in the 2010-11 election cycle and spend a fortune on advertising. The recipients of this MONEY are no doing the their bidding to destroy their competition, Big Pharma vs. “little ecigs".
This PROPOGANDA campaign makes ecigs out as a “GATEWAY” which will lead children to actual smoking. RIDICOLOUS.
The Center For Disease Control, “33%  OF 8TH  graders drank alcohol in the last 30 days”
National Institute of Health, “23%  of high school seniors used marijuana in the last 30 days and 6.5% use it daily. These facts do not seem to concern the politicians..
A fear campaign aimed at ‘hopelessly addicted smokers” to dissuade them from trying a “personal nicotine vaporizer”.
Another “Mass Shooting” linked to antidepressants. Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley acknowledged that the Fort Hood gunman, Ivan Lopez, was taking psychiatric medications”. CNN


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Oh also note that calls are just that, calls. They may or may not be valid instances of poisoning. Even if the answer is no you weren't poisoned, it's a "call."

Very misleading information the CDC is focusing on. That's because actual harm is minimal.

winsomelosesome topcommenter


I'm with you on this.  I used Ecigs after somking for 20 years.  They work!  The only thing that bothers me is I've heard (read) that only 30% or less are still smoke free after a year.  It's been only 4 months for me but so far, so good.

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