E-liquids Canada - Beware of what you are putting in to your e-cigs June 27, 2014 17:19

A dangerously powerful stimulant is being made available for sale in vials, gallons and barrels in the markets around the country in a new form. The stimulant is nicotine in liquid form. The potent drug is extracted from tobacco, mixed with flavors, colors and other chemicals and supplied to the electronic cigarettes industry which is seeing unprecedented growth. 

This e-liquid, a key ingredient of e-cigarettes, is a potent neurotoxin which is capable of causing vomiting and seizures even if only a very small amount is absorbed through skin or ingested. Sometimes, it can even be lethal. A teaspoon of this e-liquid (even if it is highly diluted) is sufficient to cause death to a small child.

Unfortunately, federal authorities have not established any regulation for e-liquids as in the case of e-cigarettes. E-liquids are being prepared of the floors of factories, shop backrooms and sold through regular and online stores. The small bottles in which they are supplied as e-cigarette refills are left around casually in houses.  

As evidence of the e-liquid’s potential dangers emerge, toxicologists have issued warnings about the significant risk it poses to public health, especially children, who are likely to be attracted because of their colors and chocolate, cherry and bubble gum flavorings.

There is a notable increase in the number of reports about accidental poisonings, especially among children. Suicide committed by an adult by injecting himself with nicotine appears to be one death that has been reported in the U.S. since 2011. However, there has been a sharp increase in the number of calls being received by poison control centers, reporting less serious cases. Last year, as many as 1,351 cases (an increase of 300 percent from 2012) linked to e-liquids were reported. The National Poison Data System expects the numbers to double in the current year. The number of cases reported to hospitals in 2013 was 365, three times that reported during 2012.  

As far as the risk of immediate poisoning is concerned, it is much higher in the case of e-liquids than tobacco. This is because liquid gets absorbed faster, even if it is diluted. 

The increase in poisoning reports indicates two things: growth of the e-cigarettes market and a change in technology. In the initial days of introduction of e-cigarettes, they were disposable types that resembled traditional tobacco cigarettes. Over the years, e-cigarettes have become larger, reusable types which can be refilled with flavored nicotine.  

The increase in the use of e-liquids has given birth to a new category of recreational drug. The proponents of e-cigarettes argue that it represents a technological advancement which will help people to quit smoking. This argument remains controversial, despite anecdotal evidence that people are quitting smoking. However, long term studies have not been conducted to prove the efficacy of e-cigarettes, in making people quit smoking, over nicotine patches or gums and the side effects caused because of inhalation of vaporized nicotine.  

The nicotine content in e-liquids varies from 1.8 percent to 2.4 percent. Such e-liquids may cause sickness in children, but rarely death. The problem is that e-liquids with 7.2 percent and even 10 percent nicotine content are widely available online. According to Dr. Cantrell of Poison Control System, California, a tablespoon of the e-liquid with these levels of nicotine concentration can kill an adult.