E-cigarette poisoning rises in children

E-cigarette poisoning rises in children

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - More children are being poisoned by electronic cigarettes, that's according to a study of U.S. poison center calls.

It's also happening in Savannah.

"We've had a number of children in the ER, and we've had at least one that I can remember that we think was admitted to the floor for that," said Dr. Michael Bossak, Pediatric Hospitalist at Memorial Health.
The new study looked closely at poison center calls from 2012 through 2015.  In that time, the number of kids swallowing, inhaling, or touching e-cigarettes went from 14 to 223.

"It's very enticing to children they smell great.  They have flavors like cotton candy and different types of pie," said Dr. Bossak.

While most of the children were not seriously hurt, one child did die and several went into comas and seizures. Dr. Bossak warns there's a lot of nicotine in those small packages.

"The average cigarette has about 0.05 - 3 milligrams of nicotine whereas the average bottle, if you have a 5 milliliter bottle of nicotine, has the average of about 150 milligrams."

Dr. Bossak urges parents who use e-cigarettes to treat them like medicines.  He says keep them out of reach of children and if you do suspect they may have gotten into them, take action right away.

"Immediately call poison control and take that patient to the ER," he said.

New FDA restrictions on e-cigarettes were issued last week. The agency also intends to require child-resistant packaging.

That would go hand-in-hand with the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Law, which goes into effect this summer.

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