SAN RAFAEL, CA - JANUARY 28: E-Cigarette vaporizers 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)
Photo: Justin Sullivan
Photo: Justin Sullivan

E-cigarettes are poisoning children at an alarming rate

As e-cigarettes become more popular, more young children are being put at risk. Some researchers have even compared the increased risk to an epidemic. 

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The number of poisonings from exposure to e-cigarettes in children under 6 years old increased 15 times over the course of only three years, reasearchers said.

Researchers looked at data between 2012 and 2015 and found that by the end of that period, the National Poison Data System was getting an average of 101 calls a month for e-cigarette poisoning. 

All of the cases were young children who were exposed to e-cigarettes or nicotine liquid. The midpoint age for the cases was 2 years old. 

The most common side effect was vomiting, but in one case, a 1-year-old died after being exposed to nicotine liquid, researchers said.

There were many more instances of children being poisoned through regular cigarette exposure, but the researchers found that children exposed to e-cigarettes were more likely to suffer severe outcomes.

There wasn't a noticeable jump in regular cigarette exposure. E-cigarette cases, on the other hand, soared almost 1,500 percent, researchers said.

"This is an epidemic by any definition. If this were an infectious disease, this would be headlines across the country," the study's senior author told Forbes.

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