A 1 year old boy from upstate New York became a victim of the poisonous chemical liquid nicotine last month.
The boy accidentally consumed the liquid at his home, and was found unconscious by his parents. They rushed the boy to the hospital, but he was unfortunately pronounced dead upon arrival.
Fort Plain Police are calling his death a “tragic accident.” However, it is not known how the toddler got a hold of the e-liquid. The police investigation is still ongoing, and police are refusing to comment about the substance that the boy ingested.
Despite not having a direct link between e-cigarettes and the liquid nicotine that the boy swallowed, health officials are demanding changes to the way toxic chemicals are labeled to help prevent incidents like this from happening.
The primary concern is in regards to the flavors that e-liquids come in. Many of them are flavored with sweet substances such as Drama Swirl and fruity flavors like Dream Cream and Honey Badger all from Charlies Chalk Dust. The combination of deadly chemicals and attractive scents and flavors is of particular concern for parents.
According to the American Association of Poison Control centers, “One teaspoon of liquid nicotine could be lethal to a child…there are no standards set in place that require child-proof packaging.”
The packaging and legal standards for e-liquid are largely ignored by legislators, despite the fact that the APPC revealed that in 2014 alone there were over 3,635 “dangerous exposures” to the substance contained within e-cigarettes. These numbers continue to expand every year.
Prior to the child’s death in upper New York state, the state Legislature had passed a child-resistant bill for packaging on e-liquid and e-cigarettes. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo had yet to see the bill. The governor’s office has said that the governor would be signing the bill, but it is unfortunately too late for the toddler in Fort Plain.
Those who use e-cigarettes and have children should be aware of the common signs of consumption. These include vomiting, seizures, and increased heart rate. Obviously, in extreme cases swallowing the deadly concoction can cause death.
The CDC has released numbers that show between September of 2010 to September of 2014 the number of calls they received regarding ingestion of the liquid jumped from one per month to 215 per month. Five of those calls involved children.
The toddler’s death also created an outrage within the anti-smoking community, leading to new calls for packaging and the banning of e-cigarettes. According to Judy Rightmyer, director of the Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition, “We know that liquid nicotine is toxic, they are marketing this liquid nicotine in candy and fruit flavors…to appeal to young people.”
The concern over e-liquid spans the breath of the local and national legislator. The idea that childproof lids and caps are widely used on well-known toxins yet e-liquid is not required to is illogical to many legislators and concerned parents.
The aforementioned bill would also ban the sale of liquid nicotine to minors under 18 years of age. Currently, New York has banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors but not the cartridges or bottles that fill them. This new bill hopes to put a stop to those sales as well.