Did you know that liquid nicotine comes in hundreds of flavors ranging from menthol to chocolate to boston cream pie and strawberry daiquiri? More importantly, did you know that just a teaspoon of liquid nicotine can kill a child? To say this is scary would be an understatement. In fact, the director of the San Diego division of the California Poison Control System has been quoted as saying it is not a matter of if a child will be seriously poisoned or killed, but a matter of when.
Electronic cigarettes are widely touted as a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Because the electronic cigarette is smokeless, the user does not inhale the tars and toxins in the tobacco smoke. But many electronic cigarette users are unaware of the hazards associated with the liquid nicotine. Oral ingestion of liquid nicotine or absorption through the skin can create toxic symptoms including rapid heart beat, dizziness, confusion, elevated blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea, seizures, etc. Ultimately, the toxicity can lead to a coma or death.
In the United States, there is currently very little government oversight over liquid nicotine. The New York Times reports that vendors offer to sell the product by the gallon and barrel despite the fact that as much as a teaspoon can be lethal. In Europe, liquid nicotine must be sold in child-proof and tamper-proof packaging and with health warnings. In Canada, manufacturers must comply with these same regulations and also submit proof evidencing the quality and safety of the product.