Are E-Cigarettes a Danger to Small Children?


Since 2011, electronic cigarettes have doubled in use among high school students, according to the CDC. Chris Shawgo is the manager of BloNo Smoke in Decatur. He's has to deal with quite a few of them.

"They'll come in, they'll say hey what are you guys about. We tell them. I'm like okay, can I see your id? And a lot of times it's either the whole.. I don't have it on me today... Well then I can't sell to you today."

Most of the devices use vials of concentrated liquid nicotine. A drug that is poisonous if mishandled. Especially for young people. That's why state lawmakers are now trying to require them to be sold behind the counter.

"I do think it should be behind the counter so people can't just shoplift my juice," said Shawgo.

Jordan Burger is a former e-cig vendor. He has seen this happen up close.

"There was a kid. I'd say he was around 10. Somewhere around there. And he got 3 before I noticed. And then the second I noticed, I asked him about it and he took off."

In the past four years, the number of people sickened by e-cigs containing liquid nicotine has increased dramatically. From one a month in 2010 to at least 215 per month this year. More than half of the poisoning reports involved children under 5.

"Kids have a smaller body size, obviously, so it doesn't take as much of the drug to become lethal or toxic for them," said nurse practitioner, Carolyn Wagner.

Many people get the fluid in their mouth when the vials accidentally break and some intentionally swallow for a stronger reaction.

Wagner says this type of misuse can cause "nausea, headache, high blood pressure, possibly vomiting."

The same symptoms if you simply get the liquid on your skin.

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