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Sweet smelling liquid used in e-cigarettes lethal to kids

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--An increasing number of calls coming into the Virginia Poison Center in Richmond are related to accidental poisonings from electronic liquid, according to Dr. Ruddy Rose with the Virginia Poison Center.

The liquid used in electronic cigarettes is a liquid nicotine.

KidMed Pediatrician Dr. Mark Flanzenbaum talked to CBS6 about the substance.

“It’s really made it out to the public that this is a safer form of cigarettes, but there’s no regulation on it,” Dr. Flanzenbaum said.

The e-liquid is extremely toxic, and, according to Flanzenbaum, can be lethal to young children when ingested.

E-liquid sold at RVA Vapes

E-liquid sold at RVA Vapes

“There’s a risk of not being able to breathe, and then you go down the line to even coma and death,” Dr. Flanzenbaum said.

While Flanzenbaum has not yet seen a poison case related to E-liquid at his office, nurses at the Virginia Poison Center have fielded several calls related to accidental poisonings from e-liquid.

“We’ve had cases of those where children have required hospitalization,” Dr. Rose said.

Parent Steffanie Atkins said she makes sure to keep the bottles of e-liquid away from her kids, especially because they smell so tasty, with flavors like candy, banana pie, and mint chocolate cookies.

“They run around and put everything they can find in their mouths,” Atkins said.

Atkins’s boyfriend, Chip Anderson, co-owns RVA Vapes, which is an e-cigarette shop, so she is very aware of how dangerous the liquid can be to a child, or even a pet.

“It’s a high concentration of nicotine in a small bottle,” Atkins said.

Still, Atkins said the smoke released by e-cigarettes is much less harmful to a child, than smoke from normal cigarettes.

Some e-liquid manufacturers voluntarily choose to put child safety caps on their bottles, but they’re not required to.

“All of the bottles that we use here, that I make, have childproof caps on them,” Anderson said.

The Food and Drug Administration does not currently regulate e-cigarettes, but it plans to eventually.

“There should there be regulation on this, absolutely…over-regulation is what I’m worried about,” Anderson said.


  • Darrin Gold

    No one under the legal smoking age should ever use an electronic cigarette. Adults that do not smoke should not use an electronic cigarette. I was a smoker for 27 years. I made many attempts to quit during that time. I used the Nicotine patch, the Nicotine gum, the Nicotine lozenge, and will power. On December 17, 2010 I purchased an electronic cigarette and I have been a non smoker since that very first puff. My health has improved as well. I no longer suffer from sinus infections, ear infections or the constant chest congestion I became used to having. I can climb many flights of stairs without getting winded as well. I believe if it were not for the electronic cigarette, I would have been a smoker for the rest of my life. I have seen 100’s of people in my own community switch from cigarettes to electronic cigarettes with the same results.
    As to the idea that they are marketed to kids because of the colors and flavors and only kids would want that, I would direct you to the alcohol isle at most super markets where you can purchase birthday cake, Pop Tart, and Ice Cream vodka. I would also send you to the Apple store where you can buy your new Iphone in many vibrant colors. Then there are the flavored coffee creamers like White Chocolate Raspberry, and even Girl Scout Cookie. Adults like flavors and colors. Are Coffee Mate and International Delight marketing to kids? How about Smirnoff, Pinnacle, and Absolut?
    A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found “no apparent concern” for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under “worst case” assumptions about exposure.
    Link to study:

  • Jim Evans

    I smoked two cartons of cigs a week until a month ago when I purchased e-cig, down to two packs a week now and feel so much better. Eventually I wont smoke cigs at all and the e-cig will be next as I already am using it less than when I purchased it.The bottles I buy have child proof caps,but common sense should tell you not to leave them where kids can get to them. Parents need to show some responsibility and do what’s right. The government can’t tax them as smokes yet but they will eventually.

  • Lizard

    Not ALL e-juice contains nicotine…..PLEASE be a better reporter and find out the facts before writing a story like this. There’s plenty of e-juice with ZERO nicotine in them. But this story should be about responsible parenting, which would be pointing out how it’s important to keep things away from young children that don’t know any better.
    80+ days smoke free because of vaping and of course there’s going to be those who don’t have a life, that feel they need to put a stop of the rest of us from using vapor machines to quit smoking. Why? Because they feel they know better what’s good for us vs ourselves.

  • kc west

    You can’t protect idiots from themselves… Quit the Nanny state already. These people will be licking wall outlets next. Quit legislating to the bottom of the gene pool… let natural selection take its course already.

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