A new study shows that many parents are unaware of the dangers of e-cigarettes to children.
For the study, 658 parents and guardians at 15 pediatric clinics in the St. Louis area completed surveys about their knowledge and use of e-cigarettes. Almost all parents knew about e-cigarettes: 1 in 5 had tried them, and 1 in 8 said a family member regularly smoked e-cigarettes. In two-thirds of the homes where children were exposed to e-cigarettes, they also were exposed to regular cigarettes.
The researchers found that 36% of the e-cigarette users neither locked up e-liquid bottles nor used childproof caps. Such caps, while required in Europe, are not mandated in the United States. E-liquid most commonly was stored in a drawer or cupboard (34%), a purse or bag (22%) or on an open counter (13%), the study showed.
“Three percent of the people in our study said a child of theirs had tried to drink the e-liquid,” Garbutt said. “The easiest way to lower risk is to store e-liquid out of the reach of children. Open counters and shelves, unlocked drawers, and purses and bags aren’t safe storage places.”