II. Epidemiology

  1. Relative Risk of Tobacco abuse among teens using e-cigs: 4 fold increase
  2. Of teens, 80% have the misconception that Vaping is harmless
  3. Prevalence (U.S.)
    1. High School: 1 in 9
    2. Middle School: 1 in 30

III. Background

  1. In U.S., FDA will regulate e-cigs as Tobacco products as of August 2016

IV. Mechanism

  1. Battery powered electronic device vaporizes a concentrated nicotine liquid in a replaceable cartridge
  2. User inhales nicotine vapor
  3. Various nicotine preparations are sold and not regulated
  4. Some nicotine solutions are flavored or colored (attracting young children)
  5. Pods (e.g. Juul) are alternative devices (appear similar to US drives) that may be filled with high concentration nicotine

V. Precautions

  1. Not recommended as Nicotine Replacement
  2. NOT a Nicotine Replacement device (unlike Nicotine Patch, Nicotine Gum)
  3. New, inventive way for companies (several that market Tobacco) to market an unregulated (in 2014), addictive nicotine product
  4. E-Cigarette has had a recent increase in use among U.S. high school students
  5. Nicotine solutions are not regulated and their labels may be inaccurate and their contents contaminated
    1. Inadequate safety data available for these devices and the inhaled vapor compared other Nicotine Replacement forms

VI. Adverse Effects: Nicotine toxicity

  1. Nicotine solution is sold in large refillable 100 mg bottles
  2. Nicotine solutions are highly concentrated (up to 100 mg/ml)
  3. The solution is well absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract
  4. Toxicity risk is high when ingested by young children
    1. Toddlers experience symptoms with 1 mg ingestion
    2. Lethal dose at 6-13 mg/kg
  5. Nicotine has a Succinylcholine-like stimulatory effect on nicotinic receptors
    1. Results in Seizures followed by paralysis
  6. Nicotine affects teens differently than adults
    1. Teens are more likely to become addicted than adults
    2. Teens have a more significant adverse cognitive effect on memory and attention
    3. Teens are more likely to have respiratory adverse effects
  7. Longterm Vaping adverse cardiopulmonary effects are not yet clear
    1. May have carcinogenic effects
    2. Second hand exposure of potential toxins for friends and family

VII. Signs: Toxic Ingestion (children)

  1. Nausea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Seizures
    1. Onset within 2 hours of ingestion (and typically within 15-30 minutes)
  4. Paralysis
    1. Follows Seizures

VIII. Management: Toxic ingestion (children)

  1. Seizures
    1. Treat with Benzodiazepines
    2. See Status Epilepticus
  2. Paralysis or fasciculations
    1. Intubate under Rocuronium (avoid Succinylcholine)
    2. Post-intubation sedation with Benzodiazepines

IX. Prevention

  1. Try to prevent teens from using e-cigs before they start

XI. References

  1. (2018) Presc Lett 25(11): 64
  2. (2014) Presc Lett 21(6): 36
  3. Swadron and Nordt in Herbert (2014) EM:Rap 14(6): 14
  4. Vardavas (2012) Chest 141(6):1400-6 [PubMed]
  5. Trtchounian (2011) Tob Control 20:47-52 [PubMed]

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