From the Journals

Liquid nicotine for e-cigarettes may poison young children


 

Liquid nicotine for e-cigarettes poses a poisoning risk for young children, said Preethi Govindarajan of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and his associates.

Since January 2015, pediatric exposures to liquid nicotine have decreased, which may be attributable to legislation requiring child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine containers and also greater public awareness of the risks associated with e-cigarette products, they noted.

e-cigarette Carpe89/ThinkStock
From January 2012 through April 2017, there were 8,269 liquid nicotine exposures reported among children younger 6 years to the National Poison Data System, with these incidents peaking in January 2015. The median age of exposure was 2 years, 84% of the children exposed were less than 3 years of age, and 55% of the children were boys. Of the exposures reported, 93% were because of ingestion. Fewer than 2% were admitted to the hospital. There was one death.

There was a significant increase in the monthly number of liquid nicotine exposures of 2,390% (P less than .001) from November 2012 through January 2015, and a significant decrease of 48% (P less than .001) from January 2015 through April 2017. “From August 2016 (175 exposures), the first month after the federal Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act went into effect, to April 2017 (142 exposures), there was an 18.9% decrease in the number of monthly liquid nicotine exposures,” Mr. Govindarajan and his associates said.

“Child-resistant e-cigarette devices, use of flow restrictors on liquid nicotine containers, and regulations on e-cigarette liquid flavoring, labeling, and concentrations could further reduce the incidence of these exposures and the likelihood of serious medical outcomes when exposures do occur,” they concluded.

SOURCE: Govindarajan P et al. Pediatrics. 2018;141(5):e20173361.

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