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
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)
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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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