Kentucky poison center sees rise in e-cigarette-related calls

Louisville, KY – Poisoning from e-cigarettes is a growing concern – especially among children, warns the Kentucky Regional Poison Center of Kosair Children’s Hospital.

As of Dec. 9, the center had received 39 calls about e-cigarettes in 2013 – a 333 percent increase from 2012. A similar trend is occurring nationally, with calls regarding e-cigarettes up 161 percent across poison centers.

The cartridge in an e-cigarette contains nicotine, propylene glycol or another additive, and children may be exposed to it by picking up a cartridge that has been left out or taking apart an e-cigarette. The Kentucky Regional Poison Center notes that nicotine ingestion or skin exposure can be harmful, with signs that include pale appearance, sweating, hyperactivity, vomiting and rapid heart rate.

In severe cases, a child’s heart rate and blood pressure could drop to dangerous levels, resulting in a coma or death.

Experts advise keeping e-cigarettes where children cannot reach them.