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Reducing the dangers of e‐cigarettes for children: opportunities for regulation and consumer education

Ryan D Kennedy and Vanya C Jones
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50007
Published online: 18 February 2019

The importance of packaging, storage, and product design must be reflected by legislation

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including e‐cigarettes, are devices that heat a liquid (e‐liquid) that usually includes propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine, nicotine, and other constituents, such as colourants and flavourings. Nicotine is a naturally occurring toxin in tobacco plants that affects mammalian nervous and cardiovascular systems.1 E‐liquids containing nicotine are a poisoning risk because small amounts of nicotine can induce vomiting, cause seizures, and be lethal, particularly if ingested by young children.2 As Chivers and colleagues3 report in this issue of the MJA, e‐liquids may also contain a range of other toxic and dangerous constituents, including insecticides. In Australia and overseas, ENDS products are subject to regulations similar to those for tobacco products, including minimum age of purchase and restrictions on advertising.4 However, mitigating the risk of poisoning by ENDS products and their e‐liquids has not been the primary object of legislation.

  • Ryan D Kennedy
  • Vanya C Jones

  • Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States

Correspondence: rdkennedy@jhu.edu

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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