Poisonings up from e-cigarettes

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Poison Control System officials said they’re seeing a sharp increase in the number of young people being harmed by e-cigarette liquid.

In 2012, the poison center received five reports of e-cigarette-related poisonings for people under 20 years old. Last year, that number jumped to 50.

State Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said none of the poisonings caused serious injury, but parents should be aware the liquid nicotine can pose a fatal risk.

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The poisoning calls include instances where e-juice has been swallowed, inhaled or come in contact with eyes or skin.

The president of the Minnesota Vapers Advocacy Group points out that far more poisonings were reported from household cleaners and personal care products.

There are no state or federal laws requiring manufacturers of e-juice to disclose ingredients or require child-resistant packaging.

Unlike their tobacco-stuffed counterparts, e-cigs are not regulated and not subject to tobacco taxes in most states.

E-cigarettes exist in a legal limbo of sorts as government catches up to private enterprise.