Family’s e-cigarette poisoning tragedy

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Many parents are opting to switch to e-cigarettes in order to avoid contaminating their homes and exposing their kids to second-hand smoke. Although many countries are still debating the safety of electronic cigarettes, users see them as helpful in cutting down the smoking of actual cigarettes. In what has been called the first fatality in the UK, a beloved family dog has died of nicotine poisoning after chewing on a bottle of concentrated nicotine fluid used to prepare the e-cigarettes, according to the Mail Online. The tragic case highlights the dangers of leaving the liquid lying around the house.

The liquid is placed into the e-cigarette, which is then heated up by battery to produce a nicotine-laced vapour.
Apparently the family’s pet Staffie bit into the small plastic bottle and immediately began frothing at the mouth. Despite being rushed to an animal hospital, the dog died.

The World Health Organisation has refused to endorse the devices pending more testing.

Not all of the refill bottles are clearly marked as dangerous, and very few come with child-proof caps. This represents a huge risk for kids as parents may not know that the contents of the bottle are lethal even in small doses. Because the liquid is used in homes or placed in hand bags instead of being placed in medicine cabinets, children could feasibly access it and ingest it.

“A person can overdose on nicotine through a combination of nicotine patches, nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler cartridges and/or tobacco smoking at the same time.Ingestion of nicotine pharmaceuticals, tobacco products, or nicotine containing plants may also lead to poisoning.Smoking excessive amounts of tobacco has also led to poisoning; a case was reported where two brothers smoked 17 and 18 pipes of tobacco in succession and were both fatally poisoned.Spilling an extremely high concentration of nicotine onto the skin can result in intoxication or even death since nicotine readily passes into the bloodstream following skin contact”

If you suspect your child has ingested an e-cigarette product, take your child to an emergency room immediately, preferably one with a poison control unit. Phone first and find out if there is anything you should or should not do and don’t forget to take the product with you.
Never leave nicotine products in places where children can pick them up.

Even though thee-cigarettes release vapour rather than smoke, it is advised that the products not be used around children until further notice and clinical testing results have been released.

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