E-Cig Liquid Nicotine Childproof Caps Would be Required Under Bill

President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law the first legislation directly affecting electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or vaping cigarettes, calling for child-proof caps on liquid nicotine used with the increasingly popular devices. 

On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015, which was approved by the Senate in December. With passage through both houses, the legislation now goes to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

The e-cigarette legislation requires that all liquid nicotine products have packaging that is difficult for a child under five years of age to open, and has received little resistance from any group. It is expected to increase the liquid nicotine industry’s costs for bottle caps from six cents to 12 cents per bottle, according to officials from the American Vaping Association, who say they do not see the legislation as burdensome.

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The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, representing e-cigarette and vaping industry companies, supported the bill and called for swift implementation.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), there were at least 3,067 reports involving problems stemming from e-cigarette liquid nicotine exposure last year, with about half of those incidents involving children under the age of six. The number is significantly down from 2014’s total of 3,783, which was more than double any previous year.

In 2014, Consumer Reports called on the government to enact legislation concerning the packaging of e-cigarettes, after an increasing number of poisonings among children were reported. That legislation was introduced forward by Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat.

“A few drops of this stuff can cause a child to become extremely ill,” Nelson said in a January 11 press release. “Requiring child-proof caps on these bottles is just common sense.”

In a study published by the medical journal Academic Pediatrics in September 2015, researchers found that the risk of childhood health problems caused by e-cigarette liquid may be much higher than previously believed. Only 26% of homes where at least one person vapes were found to have childproof liquid nicotine containers or other means of protecting children from accessing the e-cig liquid.

While e-cigarette use was reported in one in eight homes, 34% of those homes kept the potentially harmful liquid nicotine in a cupboard, 22% kept the liquid in a purse of bag, and 13% in an open container. Overall, three percent of respondents said a child in their home had tried to drink the e-cigarette liquid.

The FDA recently announced a review into the rules governing liquid nicotine products, after receiving a growing number of reports of poisonings and deaths among children.


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