Introduction: Exposure to the liquid nicotine solutions in electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) may be dangerous because they are highly concentrated. Little is known about the impact of exposure on public health. This study describes e-cig exposures reported to poison centers. Methods: All e-cig exposures reported to Texas poison centers during 2009 to February 2014 were identified. Exposures involving other substances in addition to e-cigs and exposures not followed to a final medical outcome were included. The distributions of exposures by demographic and clinical factors were determined. Results: Of 225 total exposures, 2 were reported in January 2009, 6 in 2010, 11 in 2011, 43 in 2012, 123 in 2013, and 40 through February 2014. Fifty-three percent (n = 119) occurred among individuals aged <5 years old, 41% (n = 93) occurred among individuals aged >20 years old, and 6% (n = 13) occurred among individuals aged 6-19 years. Fifty percent were female. The route of exposure was 78% ingestion. Eighty-seven percent of the exposures were unintentional, and 5% were intentional. The exposures occurred at patients' own residences in 95% of the cases. The clinical effects reported most often were vomiting (20%), nausea (10%), headache (4%), ocular irritation (5%), dizziness (5%), and lethargy (2%). Conclusion: E-cig exposures reported to poison centers are increasing. Most of the patients are young children, and the exposures most frequently occur through ingestion. Reported exposures often do not have serious outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health