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U.S. Reps Esty, Brooks Move To Protect Kids From Liquid Nicotine Poisoning

U.S. Reps. Elizabeth Esty and Susan W. Brooks introduced a legislation requiring child safety packaging for liquid nicotine containers.
U.S. Reps. Elizabeth Esty and Susan W. Brooks introduced a legislation requiring child safety packaging for liquid nicotine containers. Photo Credit: File

DANBURY, Conn. -- U.S. Reps. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT5) and Susan W. Brooks (R-IN5) introduced the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015, bipartisan legislation requiring child safety packaging be added to liquid nicotine containers across the nation.

The bill was advanced in the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade with broad support.

“The bright packages are attractive to kids and flavors, like bubble gum and gummy bear, can be easily confused with candy. We shield our children from hazardous products – liquid nicotine should be no exception. It’s imperative that we adequately protect our children from unnecessary illness and death. That’s why Congresswoman Brooks and I are introducing commonsense bipartisan legislation to save lives,” said Esty.

“Currently, it’s simply too easy for a child to be fooled by packaging that uses bright and attractive colors to advertise familiar candy flavors. Last year, a one-year old died from drinking just a small amount of liquid nicotine. This legislation could have prevented such a heartbreaking occurrence and will give parents, retailers and suppliers peace of mind moving forward. I look forward to working with Representative Esty to advance this extremely necessary legislation,” said Brooks.

Liquid nicotine is a combination of tobacco extracted nicotine, an assortment of hazardous chemicals, and artificial flavoring sold for use with Electronic Nicotine Devices (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates many small packages of liquid nicotine contain enough harmful material (540 mg) to kill four young children.

Last December, a one-year old child in Fort Plain, N.Y. died from liquid nicotine poisoning. In 2014, according to the American Association for Poison Control Centers, 3,783 calls related to liquid nicotine exposure were made to local poison control centers.

The legislation would protect children by ensuring every liquid nicotine container is in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Act, specifically the Poison Prevention Act of 1970.

Right now, there are no packaging related safety requirements for liquid nicotine which can be ingested orally or even absorbed through the skin. A child-resistant package is designed to be significantly difficult for children under five to open.

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