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E-Cigarettes Can Be Deadly to Pets as Well as to Kids

Toddlers in Comas, Soaring Poison Control Calls, Show Growing Danger

 
 
Nicotine Dangerous to Pets
Nicotine Dangerous to Pets
PRLog - Jan. 18, 2014 - WASHINGTON, D.C. -- WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 18, 2014):  A rash of recent articles reported that a growing number of infants and toddlers are winding up in emergency rooms and even in comas, as the number of calls to poison control centers has skyrocketed, because the very young children - apparently attracted to their strong artificial scents of fruit, bubble gum, etc. - are touching e-cigarettes, their nicotine-filled cartridges, and the containers users sometime utilize to fill the cartridges, and then either trying to drink the enticing liquid, touch their contaminated hands to their mouths, or simply absorb the poison through their skin.

        Public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who first helped to alert the public to this newly-discovered hazard caused by this totally unregulated product, is now suggesting that the same risk could also be present for pets.  They, like youngsters, may well be attracted to the novel aroma of the nicotine-based liquid, and seek to lick it; perhaps even using sharp teeth and/or claws to attack the flimsy cartridge.

        Responsible adults who might never think of leaving prescription or even over-the-counter drugs where infants or pets could get to them apparently are not recognizing the deadly danger concentrated nicotine can present, especially to toddlers, most cats, and small dogs, for whom the amount of nicotine in a cartridge would result in a serious concentration of the toxin in a small entity exposed to it.

        Since we know from published reports that adults are in fact leaving e-cigarette paraphernalia where infants can and are getting to it, it's certainly possible that the same thing can and will continue to happen to pets for the same reason; users simply don't recognize it as a product - like drain cleaner or lye - which can be dangerous to youngsters as well as to pets.

        It's well known that even the small amount of nicotine found in a single cigarette butt can be dangerous for small animals, and pet poison web sites warn smokers about leaving tobacco products where their pets can get to them.  Unfortunately, they do not yet provide the same warning about e-cigarettes.

        Even a small amount of nicotine can have a very big effect.  For example, one woman noticed that her dogs immediately got sick every time after her lawn was mowed.  She later discovered that the mower  chewed tobacco and spit.  This small amount of spittle, scattered over a lawn, was still enough to sicken several of her dogs, and they were attracted although the odor was far from enticing.

        So, says Banzhaf, pet owners, like parents and others with very young children in the home, should take extra care to keep e-cigarettes and their associated paraphernalia locked safely away where it cannot cause a tragedy - treating e-cigarettes and what goes with them just as they would their drain cleaners, lye, prescription drugs, and even bottles of aspirin.

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052, USA
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
http://banzhaf.net/ @profbanzhaf

Contact
GWU Law School
202 994-7229 / 703 527-8418
jbanzhaf@law.gwu.edu

Photo:
http://www.prlog.org/12269855/1

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Source:Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
City/Town:Washington - District of Columbia - United States
Industry:Health, Pets
Tags:pets, e-cigarette, nicotine, poison, dog
Shortcut:prlog.org/12269855
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