Poison Control Centers Receive Increased Number of E-Cigarette Related Calls

As of late, e-cigarettes have been widely regarded as the safer and less offensive alternatives to traditional tobacco cigarettes.,That doesn’t mean they haven’t posed other risks. Recently, there has been an abnormal rise in calls to US poison control centers  regarding electronic cigarettes. The number of calls regarding these devices has increased by a whopping 161%, and local firefighting professionals in the area of Phoenix, Arizona have reported a significant problem with electronic cigarettes starting fires.

Smoking electronic cigarettes, also known as “vaping,” is an alternative many people are using to get away from the cancer-causing effects of traditional tobacco cigarettes. However, the poison control center for Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, KY had received nearly 40 calls in relation to electronic cigarettes in 2013. This was a vast change from the mere 9 calls received in 2012.

What’s surprising is that researchers have found nearly 30% of electronic cigarettes contain equal levels of acrolein and formaldehyde as there are in regular cigarettes. Another growing problem is that nearly half of the calls received by Kosair’s Children’s Hospital concerned children. This was due to mishaps such as children gaining access to the electronic cigarettes while their parents were away or when the devices were charging.

Electronic cigarettes are also a growing concern for fire hazards. One of the primary problems with electronic cigarettes is that cartridges are overheating while the device is charging, causing the onset of a fire. What’s worse is that the devices are being left for hours on end in dangerous places, such as flammable surfaces or other pieces of furniture.

Thus far, neither the American Cancer Society nor the Food and Drug Administration have  reported on the safety of electronic cigarettes.
The FDA is currently attempting to regulate e-cigarettes to mitigate their dangers, but at this time, nothing has been set in stone. The only law that currently exists for electronic cigarettes mandates that manufacturers cannot advertise the devices as a means of quitting smoking, as there has been no evidence to support this type of claim.