E-cigarette poisoning cases increasing among children in St. Louis

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 21 at 7:20 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Parents who are trying to kick a smoking habit by switching to e-cigarettes could be putting their children at risk.

There were 50 reported cases of exposure to children in St. Louis alone last year and 22 of those were to children younger than five-years-old.

Lynn Huck and her husband own E-Cig Mania in Mehlville and they say business is good. They just opened a second store in Fenton. The store makes their own juice and some of them do appeal to children.

“We have fruit flavored, candy flavored tobacco, flavored gum, all kinds of flavors,” Hucks said, "We are very conscientious about the juice, because we know it can be fatal to children if swallowed. So we put the warning label on the bottle.”

Not only do they have a warning on the bottles, but the Hucks refuse to sell to anyone younger than 18-years-old.

At the Missouri Poison Center, Director Julie Weber says they started seeing cases of e-cigarette exposure in 2010, including some younger children drinking the juice. It has increased every year and 14 cases have already been reported in 2014.

“[Kids] are enticed by the smell and the taste,” Weber said, “They think it could be something good to eat.”

The effects can cause fluctuation in blood pressure in children, even paralyzing muscles. The lungs can stop working and in the worst case, it can lead to death.

Parents are encouraged to store any of the juices up high in a locked cabinet, out of reach of children.

If you think your child had a drink of e-cigarette juice, Weber says you should immediately called Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. A registered nurse or pharmacists can answer your questions right away and let you know if you need to take your child to the hospital.

    

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