I came across an interesting article from nytimes.com
. It discusses the dangers of overdose and potential risk of abuse of the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.
Some of the highlights from the article include:
- Tiny amounts of the nicotine containing "e-liquid", ingested or absorbed through the skin, can cause vomiting and seizures. E-liquids are more dangerous than tobacco because the liquid is absorbed more quickly and it is more concentrated. Large doses can be lethal. A teaspoon can kill a small child.
- Like e-cigarettes, e-liquids are NOT regulated by the FDA. However, you can buy them online or in stores.
|It's easy to see how a child could confuse this with something yummy...|
- There are cases of children who have accidentally ingested the liquid after being attracted by the bright colors and flavors such as chocolate and bubble gum. For example, out of 74 cases reported to a Minnesota poison control center, 29 involved children age 2 and under.
- There were more than 1,300 cases related to e-liquid ingestion in 2013 and the rates have been steadily climbing. One case in Kentucky involved a e-cigarette that broke in a woman's bed. The e-liquid absorbed through her skin leading her to become ill and in need of medical care.
- As the e-liquid market is unregulated there are no uniform production protocols and no guarantees that the concentrations of nicotine reported are accurate. This is especially true for manufacturers outside of the U.S. Additionally, China has become a major center of e-cigarette production.
- Nicotine levels vary. Most range between 1.8 and 2.4 percent. However, higher concentrations are available online and are the most lethal.
|There is a lot of danger that can come from selling this large a quantity of a toxin, especially without regulation. |
After reading this article and thinking of my patients, I feel more than ever that e-cigarettes and the liquid refills need to be regulated so that everyone knows what they are using and to make sure that they are as safe as possible.
Do you agree? I hope this article will help keep you and your family safe if you choose to use e-cigarette products.
Matthew Goldenberg, D.O.
Matthew Goldenberg D.O. is double Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry and is a certified Medical Review Officer (MRO). He is an expert in the evaluation and treatment of mental health disorders and is an addiction specialist for adults in his private practice in Santa Monica, California. Dr. Goldenberg also provides addiction psychiatry consultations to some of the nation’s top residential and outpatient treatment programs in the Los Angeles area and is experienced in the evaluation and treatment of professionals working in safety-sensitive positions. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Goldenberg is an active author, researcher and invited speaker at local and national conferences. He also volunteers his time as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.