Drug Administration is taking public comments on a proposed rule that would extend the agency’s reach to tobacco products that are not currently regulated by the agency-including e-cigarettes. The proposal comes at a time when nicotine poisoning is on the rise.
Poison Control Centers all across the country have been seeing a growing number of poisonings from exposure to the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.
The poison control center at the University of Kansas Hospital saw 34 cases in 2012, and 45 last year. If the first 2 months of this year are any indication, that number may double this year.
Tama Sawyer is the center’s managing director. She says the liquid comes in bright colors, and flavors that are attractive to toddlers.
“Cotton candy, bubble gum, cherry, strawberry…so you may have a pink liquid that smells like cherry, and you have a child not old enough to understand that this isn’t something cherry, the potential for having a serious poisoning is certainly there,” Sawyer says.
What’s more, says Sawyer, the bottles these products are sold in don’t come with child-proof caps.
The American Lung Association is calling on the FDA—if and when it implements these new regulations—to end the sale of all candy- and fruit-flavored tobacco products.