More young children in Illinois are being poisoned by electronic cigarettes, according to the Illinois Poison Center.
Last year, the Center received more than 80 calls related to children under age six who were exposed to the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.
Danny Chun, director of corporate communications and marketing for the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, says one reason for the uptick in calls may be young children mimicking parents who smoke.
Chun says some adults may be unaware of the serious health risks that newer tobacco products pose to children.
"Children exposed to liquid nicotine are more than five times more likely to be admitted to the hospital, and two-and-a-half times more likely to have a severe medical outcome, than children exposed to traditional cigarettes," he points out.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made final a new rule allowing the agency to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
In 2014, Illinois lawmakers passed a measure requiring that all liquid nicotine containers be childproof.
Still, Chun says the problem continues to grow as e-cigarettes become more popular.
"The Illinois Poison Center has seen the number of calls concerning young children and e-cigarettes more than triple since 2013," he stresses.
The Center says parents should consider not using e-cigarettes around small children, and treating e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine refills like any other hazardous product - storing them securely, and in places hard for young children to reach.