This is a tragic story. A young tourist in Peru was participating in an ayahuasca ceremony. As part of that ceremony, she drank nicotine tea to purge her body beforehand. She then died of nicotine poisoning.
This demonstrates a little-known fact about nicotine: Not only is it incredibly addictive, arguably the most addictive substance on the planet, it’s also incredibly poisonous, especially in larger doses than a person gets from a cigarette. I never even heard of nicotine tea before. Obviously, this story makes it’s clear that it’s something to be handled very carefully.
What’s brought how dangerous nicotine really is to light is e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes require these little vials of liquid nicotine. Thousands of people have been poisoned by nicotine the past few years because of these vials. Some people have been poisoned just by spilling a vial onto their skin.
In 2011, there were 271 cases of nicotine poisoning reported in the U.S. By 2014, that number had jumped to 3,957. More than half of these poisonings involved children under the age of 6. That’s a 14-fold increase in just three years. Thanks, e-cigs.