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Northern New England poison reports due to e-cigarette liquid nicotine

Justin Hartley of Chichester tests a new flavor for his e-cigarette at XSmoke Vape Smart owned by Deb Tickel in the Steeplegate Mall on Monday, March 31, 2014.  Hartley completely quit smoking cigarettes three weeks ago with the help of his ecig.

(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

Justin Hartley of Chichester tests a new flavor for his e-cigarette at XSmoke Vape Smart owned by Deb Tickel in the Steeplegate Mall on Monday, March 31, 2014. Hartley completely quit smoking cigarettes three weeks ago with the help of his ecig. (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

As e-cigarettes become more popular – doubling in national sales since 2012 – more cases of accidental poisoning by liquid nicotine have been reported to poison control centers.

More than 1,350 calls to poison control centers nationwide last year were related to e-cigarette liquids, triple the number in 2012, and the majority of them concerned children who ingested or were otherwise exposed to the liquid, according to National Poison Data System data cited in the New York Times.

Far fewer cases have been reported locally, according to the Northern New England Poison Center, which serves Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

∎ Maine

2010: 1

2011: 3

2012: 6

2013: 2

2014 so far: 0

∎ New Hampshire

2010: no data available

2011: 1

2012: 1

2013: 2

2014 so far: 1

∎ Vermont

2010: 1

2011: 4

2012: 1

2013: 4

2014 so far: 0

Of the 27 cases reported since 2010, eight involved children 5 and under, said Colin Smith, an administrative associate at the regional poison control center.

Nineteen of the calls were judged minimally toxic and no details were available, Smith said.

Of the moderately toxic calls:

One came from an adult who accidentally put the liquid in his or her eye.

Another came from a teenager who put marijuana in an e-cigarette, and another from a young adult who poured a bottle of liquid nicotine on her skin while under the influence of methamphetamine.

Another call came from a young woman who had been smoking an e-cigarette for two hours and had developed a rapid heart rate and an apparent allergic reaction.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

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