E-cigarette poisonings among toddlers skyrocketed 1,500 percent over 3 years

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E-Cigarettes Are Poisoning Children at an Alarming Rate

Over the last three years, the total number of incidents across the United States of children consuming highly toxic liquid nicotine and other e-cigarette products increased 15-fold. E-cigarette poisonings in children five and under continue to increase, but there may be hope.

According to Forbes a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics examined the frequency of e-cigarette poisonings in preschoolers, finding a staggering 1,500 percent increase from 2012 to 2015. Severe side effects of poisoning from e-cigarettes were over two and a half times more likely to occur than poison exposures from other tobacco products.

"Unfortunately, in this country we treat our children like canaries in a coal mine," Dr. Gary Smith, senior study author and director of the Center for Injury Research & Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told Forbes. "We have all these new products coming out -- many of which are safe and great -- but some are highly dangerous to young children, and it isn't until they're out on the market and we start to see numbers like this study reports when we finally say, 'Whoops, gee, we have to think about our young kids.'"

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E-cigarette poisonings among toddlers skyrocketed 1,500 percent over 3 years
In this photo taken Tuesday, July 7, 2015, Will Braaten, 19, exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at the Vapor Spot, in Sacramento, Calif. As e-cigarettes rise in popularity, “vape shops” are popping up around the nation, places where customers can gather to inhale doses of nicotine through a flavored vapor solution. Industry officials say California is at the epicenter, with an estimated 1,400 retailers, operating largely without regulations in a Wild West atmosphere, but rules are imminent. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Jonathan Brower is the owner of Waldo Vapes in Kansas City, Mo., which sells some high-end vaping products. (David Pulliam/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
SAN RAFAEL, CA - JANUARY 28: A customer smokes an E-Cigarette at Digita Ciggz on January 28, 2015 in San Rafael, California. The California Department of Public Health released a report today that calls E-Cigarettes a health threat and suggests that they should be regulated like regular cigarettes and tobacco products. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN RAFAEL, CA - JANUARY 28: Rhiannon Griffith-Bowman smokes an E-Cigarette at Digital Ciggz on January 28, 2015 in San Rafael, California. The California Department of Public Health released a report today that calls E-Cigarettes a health threat and suggests that they should be regulated like regular cigarettes and tobacco products. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN RAFAEL, CA - JANUARY 28: A customer smokes an E-Cigarette at Digita Ciggz on January 28, 2015 in San Rafael, California. The California Department of Public Health released a report today that calls E-Cigarettes a health threat and suggests that they should be regulated like regular cigarettes and tobacco products. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN RAFAEL, CA - JANUARY 28: A customer smokes an E-Cigarette at Digital Ciggz on January 28, 2015 in San Rafael, California. The California Department of Public Health released a report today that calls E-Cigarettes a health threat and suggests that they should be regulated like regular cigarettes and tobacco products. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN RAFAEL, CA - JANUARY 28: E-Cigarette vaporizer components are displayed at Digital Ciggz on January 28, 2015 in San Rafael, California. The California Department of Public Health released a report today that calls E-Cigarettes a health threat and suggests that they should be regulated like regular cigarettes and tobacco products. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 24: The Ontario government announces new prohibitions on smoking E-Cigarettes any place real cigarettes are banned. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Cliff Phillips, a 61-year-old retiree and former smoker, and his wife, Vali, enjoy electronic cigarettes at their home in Cuba, Ill., Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Electronic cigarettes like the one used by Phillips are at the middle of a social and legal debate over whether it's OK to "light up" in places where regular smokes are banned. E-cigarettes, which are gaining popularity and scrutiny worldwide, are plastic and metal devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge, creating vapor that the "smoker" inhales. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
This Aug. 14, 2014 photo shows child-proof refill bottles of liquid nicotine at Salt Lake Vapors, in Salt Lake City. Poison control workers say that as the e-cigarette industry has boomed, the number of children exposed to the liquid nicotine that gives hand-held vaporizing gadgets their kick also is spiking. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that more than 2,700 people have called about a liquid nicotine exposure this year, up from a few hundred cases three years ago. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Daryl Cura demonstrates an e-cigarette at Vape store in Chicago, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
In this photo taken Thursday, July 16, 2015, Scot Taylor, left, manager of the Vapor Spot and customer Bruce Schillin, 32 exhale vapor from e-cigarettes at the e-cigarette store in Sacramento, Calif. As e-cigarettes rise in popularity, “vape shops” are popping up around the nation, places where customers can gather to inhale doses of nicotine through a flavored vapor solution. Industry officials say California is at the epicenter, with an estimated 1,400 retailers, operating largely without regulations in a Wild West atmosphere, but rules are imminent. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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Many of the products involved in the poisonings are byproducts of the until-recently unregulated industry when liquid nicotine products were able to create flavors like "Cap'n Crunch" and package products without child-proof safety measures.

That's all changing, however, due to developing national legislation, as well as the federal government stepping in to regulate e-cigarettes. The federal oversight coincides with the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act, passed in January 2016, mandating liquid nicotine bottles are manufactured with child-resistant packaging.

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