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CDC: Calls to Poison Centers for E-Cigarette Exposure Up

Increase in calls from 2010 to 2014; about half of e-cigarette exposure among children aged 0 to 5

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a recent increase in the number of calls to poison centers regarding electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) exposure, according to research published in the April 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Kevin Chatham-Stephens, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the potential of e-cigarettes to cause acute nicotine toxicity. Data relating to calls to U.S. poison centers about human exposure to e-cigarettes were analyzed for September 2010 through February 2014. These calls were compared with those of conventional tobacco cigarette exposure calls.

The researchers found that there was an increase in the proportion of combined monthly e-cigarette and cigarette exposure calls that were attributed to e-cigarettes, from 0.3 percent in September 2010 to 41.7 percent in February 2014. E-cigarette exposures were mainly among those aged 0 to 5 years (51.1 percent) and those aged older than 20 years (42.0 percent). Compared with cigarette exposure calls, e-cigarette exposure calls were more likely to report an adverse health effect after exposure (57.8 versus 36.0 percent; P < 0.001).

"Health care providers; the public health community; e-cigarette manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and marketers; and the public should be aware that e-cigarettes have the potential to cause acute adverse health effects and represent an emerging public health concern," the authors write.

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