DENVER — E-cigarettes are designed for people who want to quit smoking by gradually reducing the amount of nicotine they use. The units have a mechanism that heats up flavored liquid nicotine … turning it into a vapor.
Maggie Myers says e-cigarettes helped wean her off smoking after spending two decades trying to quit and adds, “I was able to find something comfortable for myself that actually tasted and felt better than cigarettes did.”
She educates others at the Smooth Vapes store in Aurora about how to safely use liquid nicotine and explains that many don’t realize just how easy it is to become exposed to it.
“A woman was sleeping with a vaporizer in her bed, it broke and she got nicotine all over her and she got nicotine poisoning that will happen.”
The number of poisoning cases related to liquid nicotine has jumped from about one per month in 2010 to more than 200 per month. More than half involve children age five or younger.
Liquid nicotine is so toxic that professionals who work with it must wear protective gloves, a mask and goggles.
Alvin Bronstein of the Rocky Mountain Poison Center says it is especially dangerous to children and explains, “They could get nauseated, they could vomit, get extremely high blood pressure then low blood pressure and then become unconscious and have seizures.”
Parents using e-cigarettes should make sure to use products with child-proof caps.
The nicotine containers are colorful and enticing to kids, who may think they’re candy.
Any adult or child experiencing heart palpitations, nausea and dizziness should get medical attention immediately.
E-cigarettes are showing success in helping millions kick the tobacco habit, but using them responsibly means making sure their benefit continues to outweigh the risk.