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The Truth About Nicotine Poisoning From Electronic Cigarettes

As a follow up from our previous post about nicotine, we’ve been doing a little research into the common misconceptions held about the likelihood of nicotine poisoning from the electronic cigarette.

Electric cigarette retailers throughout the world often have to battle against the outcry of individuals who are misinformed about the health risks of their products, but it’s important that the industry maintains an unbiased view of such claims and works to quickly put such ideas to rest. While this requires a lot of time, effort and funding from authoritative bodies, there is a certain amount of evidence already in circulation on this topic. So as it stands, the question is, are vapers putting themselves at risk of a nicotine overdose or has this claim been overhyped by the anti-ecig communities?

It’s no secret that anyone can overdose on nicotine. The amount you need to ingest before you become seriously ill or run the risk of death varies depending on whether you smoke already. For a non-smoker, 60mg at once is enough to kill, whereas a smoker with a 20-a-day habit will have to consume around 120mg to experience the same level of sickness.  Children only need around 10mg to feel the same effects. It’s notoriously difficult to inhale a deadly amount of nicotine by smoking alone, with most cases of poisoning occurring from over-exposure to nicotine as an insecticide.

There are a number of symptoms associated with nicotine poisoning, which could include (but are not limited to) palpitations and irregular heartbeats, vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea and dizziness, excessive sweating, breathing difficulties, stomach pains and a general feeling of weakness.

Generally, electronic cigarettes contain even less nicotine than a standard brand of cigarettes, which means that it’s even more unlikely that you’re going to OD on the substance if you stick to the product’s correct usage and inhale the vapour at a normal rate. It’s the nicotine solution within the cartridges or cartomizers that pose the biggest threat to a user’s safety. Some of these components can be fiddly and unsecure, although this of course depends on the model of electric cigarette (and often the reputation of the e-cig brand itself), and the solution is harmful if it is swallowed. Children are the ones most at risk from this eventuality. Consumers need to bear in mind that nicotine can be absorbed through the skin, so need to be extra careful when replacing or removing such cartridges. It’s also recommended that vapers point their electric cigarettes downwards while inhaling, to minimise the risk of the solution leaking over the mouthpiece and onto the lips.

However, here at E Cigarette Blog we believe that the correct and safe usage of electronic cigarettes comes down to common sense, as with any other product that could potentially be labelled as medicinal. Nicotine poisoning can also occur from over-usage of other popular smoking cessation products, such as nicotine patches, gums and lozenges or any other kinds of government-approved nicotine delivery items. It seems that the message is simply this; be sensible and be careful. The underlying issue may be that electronic cigarettes aren’t currently labelled adequately enough, meaning in turn that consumers are ill-informed of the nicotine content of their e-cigarette, or indeed how to use it. Is this a debate best kept for the vaping authorities, or do you have any opinions or ideas as to how electronic cigarette retailers can completely prevent nicotine poisoning?

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