Nearly 100 cases of accidental liquid nicotine poisonings with e-cigarettes leads to new legislation

CLEVELAND - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced legislation aimed at preventing accidental liquid nicotine poisonings Monday during a news conference at University Hospitals in Cleveland.

Brown said the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act would make it illegal to market e-cigarettes to children and require childproof packaging on containers of liquid nicotine or "e-juice."

In Ohio, there have been approximately 100 calls to poison control centers related to accidental liquid nicotine poisonings so far this year, according to Henry Spiller, the director of the Central Ohio Poison Center.  There were 20 in 2013.

Nationwide, the CDC reported a total of 215 calls to poison control centers about liquid nicotine poisonings in February alone.

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E-cigarette users pour the liquid into their e-cigarettes, also known as "vapes."

If ingested, especially by small children, liquid nicotine can cause nausea, vomiting, seizures and death, said Spiller.

The substance can also be dangerous if absorbed through the skin.

Brown said liquid nicotine is usually sold in different flavors, like bubble gum, cotton candy and cherry, that are appealing to children.

"The president, we believe, has the authority to childproof the caps on these so that children who might be attracted to the flavors and the way the bottle looks will at least not be able, if they're really small children, will not be able to open these bottles," said Brown.

If your child ingests any amount of liquid nicotine, immediately call your local poison control center.