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Nicotine Poisoning and eLiquid Safety

By Raymond Polidori

Friday April 18, 2014
Is there a connection between e-liquid and incidents of nicotine poisoning? E-liquid safety tips.
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Recently, there has been a lot discussion about the 200 calls received in the month of February regarding nicotine poisoning incidents involving children exposed to eliquid.

Every year more than 2 million parents make a desperate phone call to a poison control center because their child has been exposed to a poisonous substance which equates to 200,000 calls a month about children that have been exposed to household cleaners, prescription medications etc.

While incidents of exposures the nicotine in eliquid are miniscule by comparison that does not mean the vapers should not take steps to ensure eliquid safety.

The nicotine in eliquid is more concentrated than the total milligrams of nicotine in a cigarette. For example, a 1 ml tank of ecig liquid with a 2.4% nicotine concentration will have twice the nicotine as a cigarette. You should be cautious, but there is no reason for panic. If you have children in your home, simply treat your eliquid like you would treat medication.

The majority of nicotine poisoning incidents that involve children under the age of 5. Children and teens are more susceptible to nicotine as opposed to adults. A lot of adults wonder “is nicotine bad for you” and recent studies show that nicotine actually has potential to help ward off neurological disease but when it comes to children with developing brains the sensitivities are more fragile. If you have children in your home it is important to quickly recognize the symptoms of nicotine poisoning.

Symptoms of Nicotine Poisoning

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Burning sensation in mouth
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Agitation, restlessness and excitement
  • Headache
  • Fainting
  • Heartbeat irregularities

If you recognize any of these symptoms, there is no effective home remedy.  You cannot be sure how the exposure happened as it may have been inhaled, swallowed or skin exposure.  Nicotine is rapidly absorbed through the skin so if it is a case of skin exposure you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and wash for several minutes.  What you really need to do is call for medical help.  Make sure you know the number to your local poison control center.

What Happens When I Call Poison Control?

e-liquid safety - nicotine poisoningFor your information, you can call 1-800-222-1222 to be connected to a local poison control center. They will ask you about your child’s age, weight, condition, name of the product that caused the poisoning and how your child was exposed.

This information is very important so remain as calm as possible and answer as best you can. If your child is given emergency medical treatment at a hospital you can expect the doctors to give medication to control the symptoms. They may also insert a tube through the nose into the stomach to flush out any poison.

It is very hard to see your child going through something like this.  It is especially scary for your child.  As bleak as this all sounds, long-term complications are very rare.  If you react quickly and properly you can limit the harm and help your child move on toward a quick recovery.

An E-liquid Safety Checklist

The best prescription for accidents in the home is to prevent them from happening in the first place.  When it comes to eliquid safety, there are a few simple steps that you can take.

1. E liquid is best stored in a cool, dry space.  You can keep your eliquid in a locked cupboard in a high point in your kitchen. Folks, you can buy an array of locks so this is really a very cheap and easy fix.

2. If you like to steep your eliquid in a cupboard then a lock becomes even more critical.  Lock it up!

3. If you keep refill cartridges or eliquid bottles in your purse or pockets then you should limit the amount that you carry with you.  For example, you don’t need to carry 40 ecig refills cartridges with you or multiple bottles of e cig liquid refill bottles.  Carry just enough for your basic needs and store the rest.

4. If you keep your eliquid in the refrigerator place it in a locked container.

These are very basic things that are very easy to do.  And before signing off, bear in mind that many of the calls to poison control involving eliquid were made by adults.  If you get any on your skin, wash it off immediately and wash the area for at least 10 minutes.  Monitor yourself for signs and symptoms of nicotine poisoning and do not wait to call for help.

So, the moral of this story is using your common sense and being careful.  Take a few steps to ensure that your home is safe.  Be aware that accidents can happen in spite of our best efforts so make sure that you know what to do.

Until next time happy vaping and stay safe!

Ray
Team ECCR

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