Nicotine Poisoning on the Rise, CDC Study Finds

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the findings of a study, claiming cases of nicotine poisoning related to electronic cigarettes are on the rise.

For people like Howard Parton, his switch from smoking a pack a day to puffing on an E-cigarette, instead, has significantly improved his health, he says.

"It's a little easier to quit smoking through electronic cigarettes than to just quit cold turkey for a lot of people," Parton said. He owns a 'Green Smoke' store in south Tulsa, selling e-cigarettes and nicotine liquids.

But, it's those liquids that have come into sharp focus, recently. The CDC found that the number of calls to Poison Control, involving e-cigarette liquids, went up from one per month in September of 2010 to 215 per month in February of this year.

"Parents need to know that this can be harmful and they need to keep it away from children and not leaving it out on their desk and that the liquid itself - if you drip and make a mess, you need to clean it up," Parton said.

He pointed out that the 'pen style' electronic cigarettes he sells at his store are fool-proof and won't leak.

But, the nicotine liquids can be very dangerous, on their own, especially for the youngest around you.

"That's a lot of nicotine in a small amount of liquid. If you were to ingest that, that could be very dangerous because you're looking at anywhere from 240 milligrams in a 10 milliliter bottle to 400-and-some milligrams, which is a lethal dose for a small person."

The CDC's report noted that more than half of the calls to Poison Control were for children under 5-years-old.

Health officials say the liquid can be absorbed easily through the skin or mouth -- from ingesting or spilling it -- and can create toxic nicotine levels in the body.