Electronic cigarette safety information

Poisoning risks

There is growing evidence that the liquid nicotine refills from e-cigarettes pose a significant poisoning risk to young children.

Nicotine is highly toxic through ingestion, inhalation or skin contact, especially for young children. Ingestion of only a tiny amount can be fatal. A bulletin circulated to GPs and pharmacists in Northern Ireland in January stated that less than 2mls can be fatal for an adult, and warns that it is very likely to be even less than this for a child.

We advise users of e cigarettes to keep nicotine-containing products away from children, especially very young children and toddlers, who are more susceptible to nicotine poisoning.

How to prevent nicotine poisoning in children

Like household chemicals, you need to keep e-cigarettes and cigarettes out of sight and out of reach of children by following the advice below:

  • store e-cigarettes in a high locked cupboard
  • do not use any nicotine products in front of children
  • keep handbags containing nicotine products out of reach of children
  • if you think your child has ingested or used any nicotine products, seek medical advice immediately

Sales to children

As of 1 October 2015 it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.