President Obama Signs Bill That Will Require Child-Resistant Packaging For Liquid Nicotine

Whether you’re an enthusiast or a detractor of e-cigarettes, everyone agrees that it’s a bad idea for children to drink flavored, nicotine-laden liquid. That’s why safety advocates applauded President Obama’s signing of the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act today, a law that will require refill containers for liquid nicotine products to have child-resistant packaging. E-liquid without nicotine and vaping systems that use sealed cartridges would not be included.

In the National Law Review, three attorneys with expertise in consumer protection and e-cigarette industry regulations speculate that the job of regulating these containers–but not the liquid that goes inside them–would fall to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Yes, there are always exceptions to the idea that a package is “child-resistant.” The CPSC’s test protocols state that a package has to keep 80% of children tested stumped for five minutes.

There were 3,067 calls to poison control centers about e-liquid consumed or splashed on skin in 2015, and about half of the calls involve children. In 2014, a toddler died after consuming a liquid nicotine product.

Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of our parent organization, Consumer Reports, worked with the Consumer Federation of America and Kids in Danger to explain the potential dangers of liquid nicotine products to lawmakers.

In a joint statement, the three groups said:

We commend the President and Congress for working together to enact this law. The liquid nicotine used for e-cigarettes and similar products is highly toxic, and just one teaspoon can be fatal for a toddler. Requiring liquid nicotine containers to be child-resistant is an important first step to address the safety hazards of these products. We look forward to working collaboratively to implement this new law and take other necessary steps to keep kids safe.

“Requiring child-resistant caps on e-liquid products is a reasonable regulation, and is already the law in fifteen states,” Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said in a statement. Child-resistant packaging is also a requirement of manufacturers that belong to the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association, a trade group.

CPSC Likely to Gain New Authority Over Some Nicotine-Containing E-Liquid Packages [National Law Review]