KIMT NEWS 3 – More than 2 million poisoning incidents are reported each year to poison control centers around the country and at least 90 percent of those happen in the home.
We told you about different cleaning chemicals found in many homes and what to watch out for, but lately, there’s another poisonous substance people are keeping in their homes.
We’re talking about liquid cartridges for e-cigarettes.
There are debates about what, exactly, is inside the electronic cigarette devices. Because you can select the amount of nicotine you want, smokers are using them more and more to wean themselves from regular cigarettes.
“Nicotine is the addiction part in the parade so what they do is go from high to low to zero,” says John Wazwaz, manager of Smoke Shop.
The devices are a fairly recent development in the tobacco world. What’s troubling for health experts is the liquid flavored cartridges that go with them. The flavors range from bubble gum to grape, making them appealing to younger kids. The nicotine in these vials is poisonous and can lead to some scary symptoms like vomiting and muscle spasms or seizures.
“To a little child who is looking at something, if it smells good and they automatically think it’s going to taste good and if you have children of your own you know that for little kids, the toddlers, everything goes in their hands goes in their mouths,” says Dr. Edward Bottei with the Iowa Poison Control Center.
Minnesota specifically has seen a dramatic rise in tobacco related poisonings since e-cigs hit the market. In 2013, they accounted for nearly a quarter of the state’s 218 teen and child tobacco related poisonings.
“Nicotine is a pretty powerful drug that can have potentially a lot of bad effects if you get a lot of nicotine all at one time,” commented Bottei.
To avoid any accidents, make sure to keep these cartridges out of the reach of children and teens.
“Be sure to keep the nicotine cartridges in a safe place, I was reading some stories where people were actually keeping them locked up so that way their little children weren’t getting into them,” says Bottei.
Locking these up may seem like an inconvenience, but it could make all the difference when it comes to the safety of those you love.
If you think someone in your household has been poisoned, contact Iowa or Minnesota poison control immediately. They have people at the phones 24-7.
For either state call 1-800-222-1222 or visit their websites for more information.
Iowa Poison Control: http://www.iowapoison.org/
Minnesota Poison Control: http://www.mnpoison.org/