Big Tobacco execs poisoning our children, playing the victim
Madeline Daniels (Former Staff)Health
The headlines are horrifying: poison control centers are seeing a dramatic spike in the number of poisonings from e-cigarette liquid nicotine. More than half of the calls reporting a poisoning are for children under the age of 5. Like the 2-year-old who drank a bottle of her parents’ nicotine and immediately began vomiting. Or the 4-year-old whose parents reported they heard “A little noise, come in, and he has taken the lid off of all of them and has this liquid everywhere. He’s got it all over him. He’s been eating it.” Both children were hospitalized.
In a way, these toddlers were lucky. Just one teaspoon of diluted liquid nicotine can be a deadly dose. One children’s sized mouthful is the same as eating four or five cigarettes. But unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes come in enticing scents and flavors like bubblegum, caramel apple, and Fruity Pebbles cereal.
In response to this 200 percent jump in reports of poisonings, Jason Healy, the president of e-cigarette manufacturer Blu, called a Centers for Disease Control report “an ongoing attack on the e-cigs industry by various anti-smoking groups.”
Exactly because your products are sending our kids to the emergency room.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for issuing recalls of toys and other products that could be harmful to our kids. Recalls this year include a stuffed cat toybecause the eyes can detach and become a choking hazard and polymer balls that can be mistaken for candy, ingested, and cause intestinal obstructions. Of course we protect our youngest from these risks. Yet Big Tobacco is allowed to sell poison that smells and tastes like candy with little regulation. In many states, e-cigarettes and their liquid nicotine can even legally be sold to minors.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to stop this. The FDA is expected to release regulations that deem e-cigarettes tobacco products, applying the same regulations that are currently on traditional cigarettes. This includes age, packaging, and marketing restrictions that will make the products much less attractive, and much less dangerous, to children. But this process has been delayed, and in the meantime our kids are being ending up in the hospital.
Help protect our children from harm by demanding the FDA release its deeming regulations to stop Big Tobacco from poisoning our kids: