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Tobacco and Liquid Nicotine

Each year, America’s poison control centers answer thousands of calls about exposures to tobacco products like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. Exposures to these and other products containing nicotine can cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. In serious cases, exposure can lead to life-threatening and severe symptoms like seizures, decreased heart rate, and decreased blood pressure. These symptoms can happen to anyone of any age, but the risk is greatest in children due to their size.

While nicotine in any form can cause poisonings, since 2011 poison control centers have been most concerned about exposures to e-cigarette products and liquid nicotine. This is because the concentration of nicotine in liquid products is higher than most other tobacco products.

One could be exposed to the liquid nicotine in an e-cigarette or e-liquid (vape juice, smoke juice) by drinking it, spilling it on the skin, or breathing in too much vapor.

To prevent exposure to e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine, AAPCC recommends the following:

If someone has been exposed to nicotine, especially a child, call the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 right away.

Additional Resources

CDC: Electronic Cigarettes

FDA: Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) 

Poison Control Center Data on Exposures to Electronic Cigarettes and Liquid Nicotine 

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