Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

E-Cigarettes Aren't Safe; Use in Private If You Must

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

E-Cigarettes Aren't Safe; Use in Private If You Must

Article excerpt

Byline: Zorba Paster

A recent study shows that e-cigarettes pose a poison threat to toddlers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw an explosion in calls regarding poisoning from e-cigarette liquids (which contain nicotine) - from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014.

E-cigarette replacement cartridges are put in pretty packages that attract curious kids. The liquid contains nicotine in amounts that can kill a child.

A lethal dose for adults is 40 to 60 milligrams. The average regular cigarette contains 1 to 2 milligrams, but the average e-cigarette cartridge contains anywhere from 6 to a whopping 70 milligrams of nicotine.

A few drops of the super-concentrated liquid on a child's tongue could wreak havoc in his or her body. Cases of irregular heartbeat, convulsions, coma and cardiac arrest have all been recorded.

This is one more reason we need reasonable restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes. So let me give you my spin.

First of all, I think e-cigarettes should be available but strictly restricted to adults. There are those who claim these devices have helped them quit smoking regular cigarettes, and a recent study showed that may be correct. Unfortunately, other studies have shown that most smokers who use e-cigarettes continue to smoke regular cigarettes. That's their choice.

My biggest issue is the use of e-cigarettes by minors, particularly the number of high school-age kids who believe e-cigarettes are safe. I think it's very reasonable to assume e-cigarette use by a teen is a gateway to smoking regular cigarettes. I fear, as do many other parents, that this may lead to setbacks in the great success we've had in getting so many teens to avoid starting regular cigarettes in the first place.

But here's the real baloney I find hard to swallow: the idea that e-cigs are safe. …

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