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Updated Feb 3, 2014 - 8:14 am

Valley doctors seeing more kids swallow e-cigs’ poisoneous liquid nicotine

PHOENIX — Valley doctors are expressing concern about electronic cigarettes.

E-cigs use water vapor instead of smoke to deliver nicotine, and many people think they’re healthier than regular cigarettes.

But at the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center, doctors are worried that people, especially children, are swallowing the liquid nicotine.

“Many of them come with refills that don’t come in child proof containers,” said Dr. Frank Lovecchio. “The refills are typically very tasty, with flavors such as chocolate and vanilla. Flavors that tend to appeal to a younger user.”

Lovecchio said that the center has seen an increase in children needing treatment after being poisoned by the liquid nicotine.

“In 2011 we had 0 cases, in 2012 we had about 4 cases, and in 2013 we had 13 or so,” said Lovecchio.

Lovecchio also noted that kids can die from swallowing the amount of nicotine that is in two regular cigarettes, but the amount of liquid nicotine in one e-cigarette is equivalent to about ten packs of regular cigarettes.

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