Brooks Proposal to Ensure Child-Proof Packaging for Liquid Nicotine Containers Passes Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Congress passed S. 142, the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015, companion legislation to a proposal introduced in the House by Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05). This legislation requires that child safety packaging be used for liquid nicotine containers in the United States.
Liquid nicotine is used in e-cigarettes, which convert the nicotine to a vapor inhaled by the user. Liquid nicotine can come in many colors and flavors, such as grape or cotton candy, which appear attractive to children, and can often lead to accidental poisoning if the nicotine is ingested orally or even absorbed through the skin. The bottles are sold in various sizes, from 10 milliliters (about 2 teaspoons) to more than 30 milliliters (about 6 teaspoons) and come in a variety of nicotine strengths. Previously, there were no federal packaging related safety requirements for liquid nicotine.
“Child safety packaging is a natural solution to the growing number of people, especially children, experiencing medical emergencies and even death from swallowing or touching liquid nicotine products,” Brooks said. “A teaspoon of concentrated liquid nicotine can be fatal for the average toddler. We have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us, and this legislation will help safeguard young lives.”
More than half of reported exposures to liquid nicotine have occurred in young children under the age of 6, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. H.R. 3242, the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015, is a bipartisan proposal led by Brooks and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT5). It is the companion legislation to S. 142, led by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), which passed the House today.
“I want to especially thank Hoosier pediatricians and the Indiana Poison Center for their important advocacy on this proposal,” Brooks continued. “I’m pleased that my colleagues in Congress recognize the merits of this public health and safety proposal, and look forward to the President signing it into law.”
This bill protects children by ensuring every liquid nicotine container is in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Act, specifically the Poison Prevention Act of 1970. A child-resistant package, as required under this proposal, is designed to be significantly difficult for children under five to open. In testing, 80 percent of children must not be able to open the product within a ten minute window.