CDC Press Release: New CDC study finds dramatic increase in e-cigarette-related calls to poison centersCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent this bulletin at 04/03/2014 01:09 PM EDT
Embargoed until 1 p.m. ET
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Contact: CDC Media Relations
New CDC study finds dramatic increase in e-cigarette-related calls to poison centers
Rapid rise highlights need to monitor nicotine exposure through e-cigarette liquid and prevent future poisonings
The number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014, according to a CDC study published in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The number of calls per month involving conventional cigarettes did not show a similar increase during the same time period.
More than half (51.1 percent) of the calls to poison centers due to e-cigarettes involved young children 5 years and under, and about 42 percent of the poison calls involved people age 20 and older.
The analysis compared total monthly poison center calls involving e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes, and found the proportion of e-cigarette calls jumped from 0.3 percent in September 2010 to 41.7 percent in February 2014. Poisoning from conventional cigarettes is generally due to young children eating them. Poisoning related to e-cigarettes involves the liquid containing nicotine used in the devices and can occur in three ways: by ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin or eyes.
“This report raises another red flag about e-cigarettes – the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can be hazardous,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Use of these products is skyrocketing and these poisonings will continue. E-cigarette liquids as currently sold are a threat to small children because they are not required to be childproof, and they come in candy and fruit flavors that are appealing to children.”