OBJECTIVES: To investigate exposures to liquid nicotine (including electronic cigarette devices and liquids) among children <6 years old in the United States and evaluate the impact of legislation requiring child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine containers.
METHODS: Liquid nicotine exposure data from the National Poison Data System for January 2012 through April 2017 were analyzed.
RESULTS: There were 8269 liquid nicotine exposures among children <6 years old reported to US poison control centers during the study period. Most (92.5%) children were exposed through ingestion and 83.9% were children <3 years old. Among children exposed to liquid nicotine, 35.1% were treated and released from a health care facility, and 1.4% were admitted. The annual exposure rate per 100 000 children increased by 1398.2% from 0.7 in 2012 to 10.4 in 2015, and subsequently decreased by 19.8% from 2015 to 8.3 in 2016. Among states without a preexisting law requiring child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine containers, there was a significant decrease in the mean number of exposures during the 9 months before compared with the 9 months after the federal child-resistant packaging law went into effect, averaging 4.4 (95% confidence interval: −7.1 to −1.7) fewer exposures per state after implementation of the law.
CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric exposures to liquid nicotine have decreased since January 2015, which may, in part, be attributable to legislation requiring child-resistant packaging and greater public awareness of risks associated with electronic cigarette products. Liquid nicotine continues to pose a serious risk for young children. Additional regulation of these products is warranted.
- Accepted February 21, 2018.
- Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics