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E-Cigarette Liquid Nicotine Could be Deadly if Misused: FDA Regulations to Come

First Posted: Mar 26, 2014 12:29 PM EDT

Bubble gum-flavored water vapor in an e-cigarette seems safe, right? According to health officials, this unregulated "e-juice" used in the electronic cigarettes could be extremely harmful.

The potential harmful risk is focused around children because they're the ones who are most likely to "misuse" the juice by accidentally ingesting it. Toxicologists have warned that the e-juice's bright colors and inviting scents can pose a threat to young children around the house. For example, a case was reported last month in which a 2-year-old girl in Oklahoma City drank a bottle of her parent's e-cigarette nicotine liquid. She was rushed to the emergency room.

These accidental poisonings have been very frequent and have been rising over the past couple of years. Last year there were 1,351 medical cases related to e-juices. The National Poison Data System projects that number to double in 2014. The rise in popularity of e-cigarettes has contributed to the presence of the e-juice as well. Years ago, the only e-cigarettes that were available offered a certain amount of "puffs" before they had to be disposed. The "Blu" e-cigarette that can be purchased over the counter in nearly any convenience store estimates 400-500 puffs per use.

Now, these high-tech e-cigarettes are prevalent. They consist of multiple pieces and must be assembled before being used. One of the pieces is a hard plastic tube where the e-juice is supposed to be injected. Once that's filled up, you simply twist in the battery and the mouthpiece and you're ready to go. This has saved e-cigarette smokers a lot of money and has also provided them with various flavor and size options. You can take a look at the newer e-cigarettes here.

This nicotine liquid that is mixed on factory floors and vape shops contains a plethora of chemicals that are extremely harmful if the product is misused. A majority of the cases occur among children, but some still happen among adults. A leak in the e-cigarette could make the liquid enter your mouth during each inhale or if it's spilled or mishandled, it can enter through your skin and cause adverse health effects.

Health officials are warning of the e-juices' potential dangers, and the Food and Drug Administration should issue a ruling on regulations in the near future. To read more about e-cigarettes and their e-juices, visit this Boston Globe article.

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