Congress Approves Bill Requiring Child-Safe Packaging for Liquid Nicotine
Consumer and child advocates are praising a move by Congress that would require child-proof packaging on e-cigarette products.
The Senate passed the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act in December and this week it sailed through the House of Representatives. It now awaits approval from the President.
The law directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to require child-resistant packing on the liquid nicotine containers used for e-cigarettes and other vapor products.
According to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2011 there were about 270 poisoning cases involving the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes. As e-cigarette popularity surged, so did the number of poisonings; in 2014 there were about 3,800 poisoning cases. More than half involved children under six years old.
Liquid nicotine comes in bright colors and sweet flavors that naturally appeal to children. Stronger packaging laws is expected to save many children from consuming the very dangerous product.
"This legislation will go far to protect young children from the dangers of liquid nicotine. Just one teaspoon can be fatal to a child," Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, and Kids in Danger wrote in a joint statement. "And this safety threat only continues to grow as e-cigarettes and other vaping devices grow in popularity."
Advocates are now waiting for a response from the White House that would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as traditional tobacco products.