Toddler Is First Confirmed Death from Liquid Nicotine

By Victoria Kim 12/17/14

Despite carelessness on the parents' parts, no charges are expected.

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A 1-year-old boy who died after ingesting liquid nicotine, the “e-juice” in electronic cigarettes, is the first confirmed accidental death related to liquid nicotine.

After receiving a call that the child was “unresponsive,” emergency workers took him to Little Falls Hospital in upstate New York, where he was pronounced dead. This is the first confirmed accidental death related to liquid nicotine, but the second death overall. In 2012, a man committed suicide via injection.

Liquid nicotine is highly toxic and must be diluted before it can be used in e-cigarettes. Fort Plain police confirmed that the glass bottle containing the liquid nicotine did not have a child-resistant cap.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calls to poison control centers about liquid nicotine increased from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014. More than half of the calls involved children under five. The police said the toddler’s death was “just a tragic accident” and do not expect any charges to be filed.

In June, the New York State Legislature passed a bill mandating child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine. It has not yet made it to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk, but he is expected to sign it before the end of the year. Once signed, the law would become effective immediately.

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