E-Cigarette poison calls on the rise

The Oklahoma Poison Control Center has seen a 600 percent increase in the number of calls they receive concerning electronic cigarettes.

E-cigarettes vaporize liquid that contains nicotine, but that liquid can be deadly, especially to children.

The drug can cause nausea, vomiting, heart trouble and seizures.

Kim Emerson hasn’t smoked a cigarette in two years because e-cigarettes helped her kick the habit.

“I have more energy. I’m not so lethargic,” she said.

But with grandkids around, she knows how important it is to keep the e-cigarette liquid out of reach.

“I actually (keep it in) a cabinet in my kitchen,” she said. “Even if they tried to climb up there, they couldn’t reach it.”

Dr. Ryan Brown, an ER physician at Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, held up a vial of nicotine solution Monday at a press conference.

“At 18 milligrams per milliliter,” he said, “this could contain enough fluid to kill three grown men.”

Brown says the concentrated nicotine in a tiny vial could easily kill a child within an hour.

“It’s just as deadly as a gun,” he said.

With the e-cigarette market booming, he wants parents who “vape” to keep this toxic drug away from kids,¬†especially since it can be absorbed through the skin.

“A lot of these contraptions aren’t safety sealed,” he said while twisting off the cap.

OKC Vapes is one shop that provides child-proof caps.

“The cap sits there and spins and you can’t take it off,” Owner John Durst said. “You have to apply pressure to it.”

Durst knows the candy flavors of e-cigarettes appeal to teens, but OKC Vapes won’t sell to anyone under 18.

After that, parents have to understand how deadly that tiny bottle can be.

“I can only put a child proof cap on it for you in the store,” he said. “I can’t make you use it and I can’t make you keep it out of the reach of your child.”

Call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you think you’ve been exposed.