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AAP Statement on New E-Cigarette Poisoning Data, Need for Government Action

by: James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, president, American Academy of Pediatrics
“New data released today from the federal government confirms pediatricians’ concerns about e-cigarettes and their liquid nicotine refills: they are poisoning children at an alarming rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new findings, calls to poison control centers related to e-cigarette exposure increased from one per month four years ago to 215 per month as of February 2014. These new statistics should compel our nation’s leaders to act now to protect children from these dangerous products.
“As pediatricians, we do everything in our power to keep our young patients safe from poisonous products, like household cleaners and prescription medications. Why should we act differently when it comes to liquid nicotine, when the number of children who come into accidental contact with e-cigarettes is on track to outpace the number of children who are exposed to cigarettes each year? Yet, the e-cigarette industry specifically targets children and teens with appealing flavors like cotton candy and gummy bear, and neither these products nor their liquid nicotine refills are currently regulated by the federal government. Toxic household products are required to have child-proof packaging; poisonous liquid nicotine should be no different.
“The release of today’s findings on the growing number of children being poisoned by liquid nicotine calls for bold, immediate action at the highest levels of government. We await and continue to push for needed federal regulations allowing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee e-cigarettes, but the American Academy of Pediatrics urges action now. Pediatricians call on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to convene CDC, FDA and other federal agencies and develop a national plan of action to keep children safe from e-cigarette poisoning. With more and more children being exposed to these dangerous products each month, we cannot afford to wait another day.”
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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit