New vaping-related trend that's concerning health officials

A seemingly new vaping-related trend has little to do with actually smoking the device, according to poison control officials.

Amid an outbreak of severe vaping-related illnesses nationwide, University of Kansas Health System officials say they have seen an uptick in calls about young children getting a hold of their parent's devices and ingesting the cartridges full of liquid nicotine.

The center has already seen 13 cases of young children ingesting vaping pods in the last month, according to Dr. Elizabeth Silver, clinical toxicologist with the University of Kansas Health System Poison Control Center.

"It is important to remember that this is affecting toddlers who are unintentionally ingesting nicotine from vaping pods," Silver told Fox Business.

The issue is that these cartridges, though small, have a very concentrated amount of nicotine.

"Parents need to treat vaping pods like they would medicine -- lock it away in a safe place where young children cannot get access to it. There is a very concentrated amount of nicotine in a small container that is extremely dangerous to toddlers," said Silver.

This comes as U.S. health officials continue to beseech people to stop vaping until they figure out why some are coming down with serious breathing illnesses.


Doctors say the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury, with the body apparently reacting to a caustic substance that someone breathed in. Symptoms have included shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting.

The illnesses have all surfaced this year, and the number has been growing quickly in the last month as more states have begun investigations, although no single vaping device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses, officials said.

Just last week the CDC pointed to a significant jump in the vaping-related illnesses now citing 805 cases reported in 46 states and 12 deaths. All reported patients have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping, according to government data.

Earlier this month, New York became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes following a proposed emergency ban by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, citing surging use among young people. The prohibition, which covers flavored e-cigarettes and other vaping products except for menthol and tobacco flavors, went into effect immediately.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from  Dr. Elizabeth Silver who spoke with FOX Business on Oct. 3.