ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Health officials say the Georgia Poison Center is seeing an alarming spike in the number of calls relating to e-cigarettes.
They say the increasingly popular trend may pose health risks to children as young as five years old.
Poison centers across the country are warning people about e-cigarette liquid poisoning, after poison center calls involving the devices have increased from one per month to 215 calls per month in just four years.
More than half of those calls involved children ages 5 and younger.
Officials said more children are ingesting the liquid nicotine in the devices, mistaking the flavored e-cigarette liquid nicotine for candy.
Southwest Georgia Health District Specialist Ebonee Kirkwood said marketing and packaging of the liquids could deceive users and children alike.
"It's being marketed as safer, or as a safer alternative than actual cigarettes," Kirkwood said. "And also because of the different flavors that the e-cigarettes come in. They're very enticing to children."
In Georgia, the number of nicotine poisonings from e-cigarettes has increased from five to 86 in three years.
Poison related to the e-cigarettes can occur in ways such as ingesting, inhaling, or absorbing the liquid nicotine through the skin or eyes.
Health officials warn users to keep e-cigarettes and the liquid nicotine refills in a safe place to avoid accidental poisoning.