E-cigarettes send 79 kids to Utah hospitals – Sacramento Bee

SALT LAKE CITY — The number of children under the age of 6 who have been sent to Utah hospitals after using electronic cigarettes is on the rise, according to the Utah Poison Control Center.

E-cigarettes have sent 79 children to hospitals since January 2012. There were 10 such poisoning cases in 2012, 48 in 2013 and 21 in 2014 so far.

This year, Utah already has seen about half as many as all of last year’s calls and it’s not even three months into the year, said Marty Malheiro, outreach coordinator for the poison control center.

“So it seems to be rising quickly as far as a pediatric poison goes,” he told KTVX-TV (http://bit.ly/1d9kG2m ).

Aaron Frazier of the Utah Vapers Association said his organization is keeping an eye on the issue.

“These (e-cigarettes) need to be treated no different than medicine,” he said. “You got to be responsible (as a parent) and keep it up high.”

The association is a Salt Lake City-based consumer advocacy group and trade organization that focuses on “tobacco harm reduction” through the use of e-cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco products.

Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. The category has grown from thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide.

Last week, a trade group encouraged convenience stores and gas stations not to sell electronic cigarettes to minors. The National Association of Convenience Stores’ new position states that, as a best practice, e-cigarettes should be treated just like other age-restricted tobacco products.

The iVape store in Murray, which sells e-cigarettes, has begun using an identification scanner to check the age of customers at the point of sale, making sure they are at least 19.

“It is a good step but it doesn’t take care of the issues of when the product gets to the home and what the potential harm might be,” Malheiro told KTVX.

Information from: KTVX-TV, http://www.abc4.com/

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