Poison control centers across the United States are seeing a huge increase in the number of calls regarding the ingestion of liquid nicotine for e-cigarettes.
Idaho State Health and Welfare officials say liquid nicotine in e-cigarettes is actually much more dangerous than tobacco because the liquid is absorbed more quickly.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only one case of was reported nationwide in September 2010, while February 2014 had 215 cases.
Within the state of Idaho, the number of cases rose from one in 2012, to 27 in 2013.
“I tell people treat it with respect, in that it is a poison that you need to be aware of, just like all the things under your sink and in your medicine cabinet,” Volt Vapes owner Donovan Johns said.
Johns is currently in the process of swapping out all of their e-liquid bottles to ones with more child resistant caps and larger warning labels to help keep customers safe.
The label reads, “Nicotine is poisonous. Keep away from children and pets. If swallowed, seek medical help immediately.”
Johns says some vape store employees refer to the liquids as vape “juice”, something he makes sure to stay away from. “Because if you do have small kids in the house and you refer to it as your ‘juice’, we don’t want to mix up that signal and for them to think, ‘oh that smells good, I’m going to try it,’” Johns said.
Especially because the liquids now come in hundreds of flavors ranging from piña colada and strawberry milkshake, to fruit salad, sugar cookie and root beer float- Johns says it’s important for users to teach their kids the substance is harmful.
“It’s kept way up high in the cupboard, same place that the medicines are kept and [the kids] know not to get into the medicine drawer, it’s something they were taught since they were little,” Volt Vapes customer Kimberly Peyleart said.
Nationally, more than half of poisonings are children under the age of six.