Essential Pittsburgh
4:03 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Time Will Tell When it Comes to the Benefits of E-Cigarettes

One of the several ecigarettes available.
Credit Lindsay Fox / flickr

Some view e-cigarettes as a means to help them stop smoking. This is one reason for their increase in popularity. However, they may not be a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. They’ve also been blamed for a number of poisonings nationwide.

Dr. Hilary Tindle, director of the UPMC Presbyterian/Montefiore Tobacco Treatment Services and Dr. Michael Lynch, medical director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center discussed what's known and unknown about the health effects of e-cigarettes.

According to Dr. Lynch, at a high enough dosage, the nicotine fluid can cause poisonings, especially in young children. 

“The absolute easiest thing is not having it in your house. If you are going to have it in your house, we recommend having smaller quantities, not buying these large amounts. And if you do have it in your house, keeping it physically locked, with a key, in a cabinet that’s well out of reach of children, almost like you would your liquor cabinet when you leave your teenagers home for the weekend. This stuff is just so toxic that it needs to be locked up and kept away from kids at all cost.” Dr. Lynch said.  

In case of exposure, Dr. Lynch recommends calling 911 if there is an immediate effect. If going to a hospital isn’t necessary, contact the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.

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