Magazine article Drug Topics

E-Cig Poisonings Spike; APhA Calls for Stricter Regulations

Magazine article Drug Topics

E-Cig Poisonings Spike; APhA Calls for Stricter Regulations

Article excerpt

Poison-control centers nationwide are reporting a spike in calls about ingestion of liquid nicotine used in electronic cigarettes (e-dgarettes). For the first 11 months of 2014, the American Assodation of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reported 3,638 exposures to liquid nicotine and e-dgarettes, more than double the number of exposures reported in 2013 and eight times the exposures reported in 2012.

In December, a one-year-old boy in upstate New York became the first person known to die from ingestion of liquid nicotine. "The safety of liquid nicotine and its components is an issue," said Mitchel C. Rothholz, chief strategy officer for the American Pharmacy Assodation (APhA). "The produd needs to be secured well away from kids."

APhA's House of Delegates wants to go further. It voted to oppose pharmacy sales of e-dgarettes and other vaporized nicotine products.

APhA opposes the use of e-dgarettes and other vaporized nicotine products in areas subjed to dean air regulation for combustible tobacco products, until sdentific data can support the health and safety of vaporized nicotine products. APhA also called on FDA to require full disdosure of all ingredients in e-dgarettes and other vaporized nicotine products, in the vapor state and in the pre-use state.

Stricter regulation needed

The pharmacy association joins other health organizations calling for strider regulation of e-dgarettes. The American Medical Association, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Sodety for Clinical Oncology, and other groups have called for strider regulation of e-dgarettes and more research into the health implications of what the e-dgarette industry calls "vaping."

The healthcare community more often refers to electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS, when discussing e-dgarettes. Regardless of the name, the devices vaporize liquid nicotine, which is typically colored, flavored, and sweetened to enhance consumer appeal.

What about the kids?

A national interest group, the American Vaping Assodation, points to e-dgarettes as an effective smoking cessation aid. Yet the CDC noted that the use of e-dgarettes has more than doubled among middle school and high school students.

Bright colors and candy-like flavors also appeal to young children. More than half the liquid-nicotine calls to poison centers involve children under the age of six. AAPCC President Jay Schauben, PharmD, noted that as little as a teaspoon of liquid nicotine can be lethal to a child, and smaller amounts can induce severe illness. …

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