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J Emerg Med. 2015 Aug;49(2):136-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2014.12.073. Epub 2015 Mar 21.

Pediatric Exposures to Electronic Cigarettes Reported to Texas Poison Centers.

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Department of State Health Services, Austin, Texas.



Electronic cigarette use is increasing. There are concerns that pediatric exposures to these products may result in serious adverse affects.


This study describes pediatric exposures to electronic cigarettes.


Cases were electronic cigarette exposures among patients age 5 years or less reported to Texas poison centers during January 2010-June 2014. The distribution by selected variables was determined.


Of 203 exposures, two cases were reported in 2010, five in 2011, 20 in 2012, 70 in 2013, and 106 in January-June 2014. Fifty-one percent of the patients were male; 32% of the patients were aged 1 year, and 42% were 2 years of age. Ninety-six percent of the exposures occurred at the patient's own residence. The exposure routes were ingestion (93%), dermal (11%), ocular (3%), and inhalation (2%). Fifty-eight percent of the patients were managed on site. Of the patients seen at a health care facility, 69% were treated or evaluated and released. Eleven percent of the exposures were serious. The most commonly reported clinical effects were vomiting (24%), drowsiness/lethargy (2%), and cough/choke (2%). The most frequent treatments were dilution/irrigation/wash (65%) and food/snack (16%).


Electronic cigarette exposures involving young children reported to poison centers are increasing. Such exposures are likely to involve patients ages 2-3 years, occur at the child's own residence, and occur by ingestion. Further study is needed to determine which subgroups are at risk for serious outcomes and warrant evaluation at a health care facility.


electronic cigarette; nicotine; poison center

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