As a mom, grandmom and former smoker, I support those who are trying to kick the cigarette habit even if they have to lean on e-cigarettes. However, according to Kids in Danger (one of GRAND Magazine’s Child Safety Partners), e-cigarettes pose a serious danger to young children. In April of this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that calls to US poison centers regarding e-cigarettes have soared, mostly due to children under 5 years eating the devices.
On February 26th 2015, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved S. 142, the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015, which was introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) in January. The bill now moves to the full Senate for its consideration. Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, and Kids in Danger issued the following joint statement:
“With the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, poison-control centers are reporting a sharp increase in the number of people sickened by exposure to the toxic, highly-concentrated nicotine used for vaping. Most of those affected are kids, who may be attracted to the often brightly-colored liquid that can be marketed as having a sweet, candy-like flavor.
“Only one teaspoon of this liquid nicotine can be fatal to a young child. That’s why it is so important for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require child-resistant packaging, which S. 142 would direct the agency to do. We thank Sen. Nelson for his leadership, applaud the Committee for its vote, and call on the full Senate to pass S. 142 without delay.”
According to Medical News Today, Prof. Sioutas, along with colleagues at Fondazione IRCCS Instituto Nazionale dei Tumori (the National Institute of Cancer Research) in Milan, Italy, conducted the study to measure the level of exposure to harmful substances in secondhand smoke from e-cigarettes. By doing so, they hoped to provide regulatory authorities with valuable information.
They found that secondhand smoke from e-cigarettes has an overall 10-fold decrease in harmful particles and almost no organic carcinogens, which is likely because they do not burn organic material the way traditional cigarettes do.
E-cigarette smoke contains chromium – a toxic element that is not present in traditional cigarettes – and nickel at levels four times higher than normal cigarettes. The researchers say there were other toxic metals present in e-cigarette smoke, such as lead and zinc, though they were at levels lower than in normal cigarettes.