CDC Reports Increase in Calls to Poison Centers Related to E-cigarettes

Published April 9, 2014

Poison centers have recently received an increase in monthly calls related to e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in a study published Friday. 

Poison centers received 215 calls in February, up from one call in September 2010, when new codes were first added to capture calls specific to e-cigarettes. More than half of those calls involved children under age five, researchers found. A contributing factor to the rise in poisonings is that e-cigarette liquids come in flavors that are appealing to children, but are currently not required to be childproof, CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said.

According to CDC, poisoning from liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can occur by ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin or eyes, and can cause adverse health effects including vomiting, nausea, and eye irritation.

CDC urges healthcare providers, the public health community, e-cigarette companies and distributors, and the public to be aware of the potential health risks related to e-cigarettes.

“Developing strategies to monitor and prevent future poisonings is critical given the rapid increase in e-cigarette-related poisonings,” the agency stated.