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E Cigarettes: Your Child May Be in Danger

Summary: E-cigarettes are gaining popularity. But there are still many health risks to watch out for, especially where your children are concerned.
Air Date: 4/11/14
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: Ron Kirschner, MD
Dr. Ron Kirschner is a residency-trained emergency physician and medical toxicologist. He is currently medical director of the Nebraska Regional Poison Center and on the faculty (assistant professor) in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
E Cigarettes: Your Child May Be in Danger
You see them everywhere now... people smoking or "vaping" indoors where regular smoking is not allowed.

But are e-cigarettes safe?

Medical toxicologist, Dr. Ron Kirchner, joins Dr. Leigh to discuss the truth behind e-cigarettes and their health affects and risks.

The refill liquids that these electronic devices use have much higher nicotine concentration than you may think; in fact, potentially dangerous amounts. The flavors and aromas may be appealing to a child and can be extremely dangerous -- even deadly -- should a child digest these liquids. Because these are liquids, they will be more rapidly absorbed into the body if ingested.

Make sure you keep these products locked away and out of the reach of small children. If you feel your child may have gotten into these liquids, immediately call poison control or 911.

Of course, when considering the risks, you can't forget this: the drug that cigarettes and e-cigarettes have in common is Nicotine, which is an addictive and dangerous drug.

E-cigarettes are largely unregulated and are gaining popularity, especially among teens. Just because it's touted as a "safer" option, you can still become addicted to the nicotine in the vapors, which could ultimately lead to more tobacco use and still have major health risks.

There may be some positive benefits to the e-cigarettes, when regulated properly. For example, adults trying to ween themselves off of regular cigarettes by using e-cigarettes may see results.

Ultimately, however, e-cigarettes still hold potentially severe health hazards and do not eliminate the health risks caused by traditional tobacco products.