'GMA' Investigates Liquid Nicotine

The main ingredient in the widely popular e-cigarettes may be dangerous for kids if mishandled.
3:18 | 04/18/14

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Transcript for 'GMA' Investigates Liquid Nicotine
"Gma" investigates. We look at the dangers of liquid nicotine, the chemical that fuels E cigarettes. It smells like candy that kids like. But it can be poisonous. Reporter: Sales of e-cigarettes are booming. Ten-times what they were a few years ago. And with that popularity comes a new danger. They're the newest smoking sensation. Vapor, not tobacco smoke. Reporter: Electronic cigarettes. Tobacco-free, odorless and billed as a safer alternative to smoking. But "Gma" investigates, it could harm you and your kids if handled. It's a fluid that comes in a variety of flavors, from chocolate to cotton candy, making it appealing to children. It's widely available, easily accessible, not federally regulated and a powerful toxin if swallowed or even gotten on the skin. Sick from nicotine includes things like vomiting, seizures. Ultimately, if they've taken enough of it, which isn't very much when dealing with concentrated nicotine, muscle paralysis and death is possible. Reporter: In 2013, there were more than 1,400 reported nicotine exposures. An increase of more than 200% from the previous year. This year, we're on pace to almost double that. Slightly more than half of the exposures are in children under 6. A year and a half ago, Renn says her son, zander, now 5, found some of his father's liquid nicotine on the dresser. The Oklahoma mom says it wasn't long before zander started vomiting and was sick for days. All he wanted to do was sleep. He didn't really want to eat much of anything. It's a very different kid. Reporter: Thankfully, the fluid that zander swallowed had the lowest available nicotine concentration. Much smaller doses are just a click away, in sizes up to a gallon. One of the most popular online retailers is vaporworld. "Gma" investigates went to their store in Oklahoma City, and bought a concentration four-times stronger what zander swallowed in a candy flavor. The bottle had no safety warning label. Vaporworld told ABC news they're taking measures to include warnings on every bottle. And they said, we are aware that e-liquid can be harmful if consumed by children. And it's our job to make sure that we keep these things out of the reach of children. This is enough to make a toddler very sick if they swallow it. Ingested, correct. Reporter: Talking about very small quantities here. I think it's concerning. Reporter: If a child were to swallow enough, doctors say it could be lethal. We asked the tobacco vapor electronic cigarette association about this. Their CEO says the fda sent him a copy of proposed regulations. They would be released Monday. And they do address the issues of child safety labeling and packaging. A very big danger that's very common in homes now. Okay. Mara, thanks very much. Coming up, robin is going to

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