Study Points to Need for E-Cigarette Law to Stop Wave of Poisonings

The number of calls to poison centers nationwide involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine soared from one a month in September 2010 to 215 in February 2014, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study.

Shockingly, more than half of these calls involved children under the age of 5 as the devices are not required to be childproof.

“This report raises another red flag about e-cigarettes — the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can be hazardous,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH.  “Use of these products is skyrocketing and these poisonings will continue.”

Among its findings, the Congressional report also highlighted that six out of the nine e-cigarette companies surveyed spent more than $59 million on advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes in 2013, some stating that that number doubled in just a year. Two companies even noted a marketing expense increase of more than 300 percent.

The increase in calls to poison centers, coupled with concerns about e-cigarettes being marketed to minors in flavors like bubble gum, chocolate, and gummy bears, demonstrate the need for regulation.

Since last October, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, as directed by its House of Delegates, has called upon the state legislature to pass e-cigarette laws with safeguards equivalent to existing tobacco laws, including taxation and banning sales to minors.

Senate Bill 1055, a bill awaiting consideration by the state Senate, would do just that. Ask your legislators to help protect the health of Pennsylvania’s youth by promptly considering this bill and voting yes when it comes up for a vote.