According to health officials, the number of calls to U.S. poison control centers rose sharply between 2010 and 2014. This shocking study comes at a time when the delivery of the popular nicotine flavor has increased all over the United States and other parts of the world. The new report questions the safety of e-cigarettes as scientists claim that the nicotine content can be harmful to the health of the smoker.
According to the director of CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden, the use of electronic cigarettes has increased over the last few years and the same case applies to the level of poisoning. These smokeless cigarettes were introduced in China back in 2004 and at the moment, their performance in the U.S. market has reached the $2 billion mark. Unlike tobacco, these battery-powered devices are smoked by inhaling nicotine vapors which do not contain the dangerous carbon monoxide or tar.
Experts had hoped that the introduction of these modern cigarettes to the market would help heavy smokers quit this habit but unfortunately, they seem to be creating a new type of addiction as more people are now interested in finding out how safe they are. The cigarettes have been accused of creating a gateway to smoking especially for underage persons and teenagers. The fact that tobacco is not included in the ingredients also makes it possible for restricted persons to smoke it without being noticed by the smell.
Shockingly, some of the calls made to the poison centers involved children of 5 years or under. In conventional cigarettes, poisoning can occur when children chew them but electronic versions are quite different. For children to be poisoned with electronic cigarettes, the nicotine liquid should be ingested, absorbed through the skin or eyes, or inhaled directly. When this happens, the affected persons will most likely experience serious side effects such as nausea, eye irritation and vomiting.
Frieden also revealed that these cigarettes are becoming a greater threat to children than adults. This is quite shocking because children do not walk to retail stores to buy them. The situation can only be blamed on poor parenting or lack of keenness. When these cigarettes are stored carelessly within the reach of children, the risk of poisoning is always high. Besides, some of them come with sweet flavors such as candy and fruits, which are somehow appealing to kids. They may not know that they are poisoning themselves as they play around or suck these small gadgets since their innocent minds are always attracted to things that have great taste and smell.
These shocking findings have created huge debates in France as to whether e-cigs should be banned or not. When electronic cigarettes were first introduced into the market, they were regarded as the safest and healthiest way of smoking but things are about to change. The suggestion to ban them has already attracted sharp reactions from sellers in France and some parts of the United States. However, in Canada, the Ontario Poison Center has recorded very few cases of poisoning related to electronic cigarettes. Scientists are still carrying out investigations to determine how safe E-cigarettes are, but for now, carelessness and ignorance could be the major cause of poisoning especially in cases where kids are involved.
By Andrew Wandola