Highlights from the 2014 NPIS Annual Report - e-cigarettes
The use of electronic nicotine delivery systems, incuding electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes), continues to increase within the UK and elsewhere. Electronic nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes, deliver a vapour which is then inhaled. This is generally achieved by heating a liquid containing various concentrations of nicotine, with the inhaled vapour typically containing nicotine, propylene glycol and flavourings.
The contents of e-cigarettes and their liquid refills vary, but may contain substantial concentrations of nicotine, a highly toxic compound. Refill solutions contain larger quantities of fluid than individual e-cigarettes, sometimes substantially larger, and are potentially a greater acute hazard due to the larger volume that may be ingested, either accidentally or deliberately. Solutions that require dilution before use are also available and these contain greater concentrations than those typically found in e-cigarettes themselves.
National Poisons Information Service
The National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) is the UK Departments of Health approved, and Public Health England commissioned, national service that provides expert advice on all aspects of acute and chronic poisoning.
The role of the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) is to reduce the burden of healthcare associated with poisoning by the provision of rapidly available, consistent and evidence-based advice to front-line NHS healthcare professionals. The purpose of this advice is to facilitate optimal clinical management of patients with confirmed or suspected poisoning and those who are (or may be) exposed to medicines or other potential poisons during pregnancy. Where toxicity is low, NPIS offers advice to minimise unnecessary hospital attendances and admissions.
The service comprises four individual Units, based in Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Newcastle. Each Unit is staffed by Consultant Clinical Toxicologists and Specialists in Poisons Information who work together to provide a seamless national service that has been established for 50 years.
The National Poisons Information Service is the service to which frontline NHS staff turn for advice on the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients who have been - or may have been - poisoned, either by accident or intentionally.
NPIS is funded mainly through ‘Government Grant in Aid’ from the UK Health Departments, some contract income and some research income.