E-Cigarette Liquids Are Deadly For Kids

The Andrews Labor Government has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the risks associated with e-liquids after alarming information revealed the product is becoming more deadly.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today released data from the Victorian Poisons Information Centre that shows concentrations of nicotine are getting stronger and the number of child poisonings from e-liquids are increasing.

The new video campaign, which highlights the importance of being vigilant when using and storing e-cigarettes around children, comes in response to a recommendation from the Victorian Coroner following the death of an 18-month old baby in 2018.

The standard nicotine percentage in pre-packaged liquids is between 0.06 per cent to 0.38 per cent. New data reveals there have been seven calls over the past two years where the liquid had a nicotine percentage 10 per cent or above – with more concentrated solutions being available online.

The liquid used in e-cigarettes may or may not contain nicotine. Liquid nicotine is poisonous and can cause serious illness or even death if ingested, with children and pets being particularly vulnerable.

Reports of child poisoning due to liquid from e-cigarettes are also on the rise. The Victorian Poisons Information Centre has received 38 calls this year, including 17 cases involving kids – up from 12 calls involving children in 2018.

E-liquid products for use in e-cigarettes come in flavours that are attractive to children but are not in childproof packaging. Due to either their size or strength, some refill bottles contain a lethal dose for a young child.

The Labor Government is pushing for a nationally consistent approach to the packaging and labelling of e-liquids and has implemented laws that regulate e-cigarettes in the same was as they regulate tobacco products.

In Victoria, it is illegal to sell any e-cigarette device or any e-liquid to a minor. In addition, the retail sale of liquid nicotine is banned in Victoria.

If you suspect a child has swallowed nicotine, call the Victorian Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26. If they have collapsed, stopped breathing, are fitting or having an anaphylactic reaction, ring Triple Zero.

Further information is available at betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“Sadly, children have become severely unwell or died after swallowing e-cigarette liquid. We are acting to keep our kids safe.”

“I urge vapers to be vigilant – make sure your e-liquids are locked up and out of reach and out of sight of children.”