Have you ever picked one e-cigarette over another because of the nicotine content claims on the label? You may have been tricked. Researchers at North Dakota State University, Fargo, found that 51 percent of labels on e-cigarette liquid nicotine containers from 16 North Dakota stores don’t accurately reflect the levels of nicotine found in the products. In one instance, actual nicotine levels were 172 percent higher than labeled.
The majority of e-cigarette liquid containers also did not provide child-resistant packaging. The study examined products purchased from North Dakota retail stores selling e-cigarettes, but not required to have a tobacco retail license. The research team noted that 23 e-liquid containers claimed to have no nicotine, but 43 percent did, in fact, contain nicotine.
Levels of nicotine in those e-cigs averaged 0.19 mg/mL, with the highest level found at 0.48 mg/mL. The NDSU research team includes Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, associate professor of nursing; Donald R. Miller, professor of pharmacy practice; and research scientist Narayanaganesh Balasubramanian. “Mislabeling of nicotine in e-liquids exposes the user to the harmful effects of nicotine,” said study author Kelly Buettner-Schmidt. “In areas without child-resistant packaging requirements, children may be exposed to harmful nicotine.”
Depending on the size of a child, even small levels of ingested liquid nicotine could severely impact a child, according to Buettner-Schmidt, and result in nicotine toxicity, accidental poisoning or death. The study is published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.