RENO, NV - Health officials are reaching out to the public, warning that the fluid used to refill electronic cigarettes can be very dangerous. It's so toxic, a teaspoon can kill a small child, but currently there are no guidelines for packaging liquid nicotine. The fluid comes in a variety of candy-like flavors. It's also packaged in bright colors that may attract children. Most of the containers have a safety seal, but once it's removed the bottles can easily be opened by little hands.
Health officials say nicotine is a neurotoxin. In a potent liquid form it can be absorbed through the skin possibly causing vomiting, seizures and a racing heartbeat. Across the nation, poisonings related to liquid nicotine rose 300% from 2012 to 2013. Currently, that number is on pace to double again in 2014.
While some consider e-cigarettes to be a tool to quit smoking others say it's a way to attract and hook new tobacco users. Dr. Luis Palacio says the best way to beat addiction is avoiding the habit to begin with. If you do use an electronic cigarette, and you have liquid nicotine in your house, the safest thing to do is treat it like any other prescription medication. Keep it away from children, pets and curious teens.