Kids Mistaking Liquid Nicotine For Candy

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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - To kids it looks and tastes like candy, but inside the small bottles of liquid that power e-cigarettes, there's powerful nicotine that could pose health risks.

"You can get high, no, or low nicotine," said Caleb Brown of High Life Smoke Shop. "You've got your heating element right in the middle and so you just pour it down straight in the crevace."

Liquid nicotine is poured into the e-cigarette and is of increased concern among pharmacists and lawmakers.

The South Carolina Poison Control Center reports a 250% increase in South Carolina in the number of kids and adults exposed to liquid nicotine.

"It's not regulated by the FDA so the concentration can range depending on who you get it from," said Jill Michels with the Poison Control Center.

Liquid nicotine is colored and comes in flavors making it a target for unsuspecting children who consume it thinking it's candy.

Michels says a number of times kids are getting the liquid nicotine out of moms purse where things like candy and gum are to be found.

"The biggest issue in this is it can effect blood pressure and heart rate, and even lead to seisures," Michels said.

State lawmakers dropped a bill in anticipation of a federal law that would regulate e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine.

The poison center is already on track this year for more calls about liquid nicotine exposure than ever before.

"I think those health concerns will be taken in to consideration," said Rep. Rita Allison (R-Spartanburg).

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