E-Cigarettes poison a growing number of Colorado children

Children can suffer seizures, comas, even death

DENVER - The Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug center has seen a dramatic increase in the number of Colorado children poisoned by e-cigarettes, and the chemicals can cause serious health concerns, including emergency room visits, seizures and even death.

"It's a very serious problem," said Dr. Ken Kulig, a toxicologist with Swedish Medical Center. "The toxic dose of nicotine for a child is roughly 30-60 mg, and some of the [e-cigarette] cartridges have 500 mg."

ER doctors are treating toddlers and preschoolers who sometimes lick the nicotine-laced liquid containers in e-cigarettes or drink the liquid. Children are attracted by kid-friendly flavors such as root beer and bubble gum.
"You have a very toxic chemical in a very concentrated formula in the home in non-child resistant containers -- it's kind of a perfect storm," said Kulig.
It's a storm brewing in Colorado, with two poisonings reported to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug center in the last week.
In fact, the center reports e-cigarette poisonings in children under five shot up from two cases in 2011 to 4 in 2012 to 16 in 2013.
Children don't even have to swallow the liquid, the nicotine can easily be absorbed into their skin by just touching it.
"The answer is fairly obvious. We need this product in child-resistant containers,"   said Kulig. "And adults need to lock it up."
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