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The news from Cornwall in the UK that a 14 week old puppy has died from swallowing a bottle of nicotine laced e-liquid is distressing but, perhaps, not surprising.
Nicotine is, after all, a poison when ingested in large quantities. It is a stimulant which when inhaled reacts with the brain to produce a chemical known as epinephrine. This chemical ‘perks up’ the central nervous system increasing your heart rate and blood pressure a touch. You’re alert. The calming effect people feel from smoking a cigarette is purely psychological and based on the ritual of habit – holding a cigarette and exhaling the smoke.
This is the reason electronic cigarettes and vaping is successful in combating tobacco cigarette addiction as they give ex-smokers something to hold and also combat the loss of the ‘exhale’ by allowing a vaper to exhale an odour free, harmless vapour. However, with a nicotine laced e-juice the nicotine addiction is satisfied.
Nicotine is a naturally occurring substance in many vegetables, for example, peppers and tomatoes, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509091215.htm, so most people will have a certain level of nicotine in their body.
Nicotine is an addictive substance – the brain enjoys the stimulus and wants to repeat the effect. Another addictive substance that produces chemical effects to a similar level would be caffeine. The golden rule of toxicology is that the dose makes the poison – so large amounts of nicotine, caffeine or even water can kill you. A litre of water will hydrate you – drinking 6 litres within 3 hours will kill you.
Nicotine is much less addictive in its pure form than in tobacco cigarette form, as the other 4000+ compounds in a tobacco cigarette add to the addictive qualities. Nicotine forces the body to release stored glucose into the bloodstream, boosting energy and preventing sugar from being converted into fat. This cheats the body into to thinking you have had something sweet and decreases the craving for a sugary food. It also acts directly on fat cells, increasing lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and can increase metabolic rate by up to 5000 calories per month. This is why people tend to put on weight when they stop smoking.
However, back to the doggy – the lessons here include:
Buy your e-liquids and juices from a reputable source. If buying online buy from a site that has a physical presence you can visit to get advice, at the very least is at the end of the phone line.
Buy a brand that uses safety devices in the packaging – child proof tops, sealed lids, warning information and symbols and lists the ingredients on the label.
Do not leave your e-liquid bottles lying around – put them up high so that children and pets cannot reach them even accidentally.
For safety the bottles tend to be made of high grade plastic but this can be punctured by a sharp canine tooth and dogs are less likely to read the warning symbols.
Unfortunately, this dog owner has learnt a painful lesson, one that will live with him forever. But no doubt he will now be storing his e-juices on the top shelf of the cabinet. But we can all learn from this and just use common sense with regard to storing dangerous substances. You would not store your cleaning bleaches, fabric softeners or medicines in easily accessible places for children or pets – so treat your e-juice in the same way. Hopefully such an incident will never happen again.
purplebox vapours uses Hangsen eliquids as they employ all the on-bottle safety measures mentioned above. If you have any questions or need any advice please call or email us.
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