Experts: E-Cigarette refills making kids sick

SAN DIEGO - The number of problems involving e-cigarettes is rising, and nearly half of the reports involve children, according to state officials.

The popularity of e-cigarettes has exploded, and experts say the number of flavors is endless and very enticing to children.

Dr. Lee Cantrell of the California Poison Control System told 10News, "We're seeing a lot of young children who try to mimic their parents and will take a puff from an e-cigarette, or they get into the refill liquid containers and take a drink from those as well."

After national reports about kids getting their hands on e-cigarettes, Team 10 looked into what was happening closer to home and found a disturbing trend.

Cantrell said in 2012, there were 19 calls to the state poison center regarding e-cigarette products -- seven of those calls involved kids five years old or younger.

From January 2013 through February 2014, there were more than 130 calls -- 47 of them involved kids who were five years old or younger.

Chris Hayek, who owns Sky City Vapor in San Diego, said he feels a certain responsibility when it comes to child safety.

He said, "Our liquid contains a childproof cap on it so you actually have to press down press hard to unscrew the cap."

However, most bottles don't have this feature.

Cantrell said the long-term effects of e-cigarettes are still under a cloud of mystery. Until then, he expects the number of adults mistaking the e-cigarette refills for their eye drop medication and young adults being admitted to the hospital with nicotine poisoning to continue to rise.

State poison control has even had calls about pets drinking the e-cigarette refills and getting sick.

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