Congress Approves First-Ever Bill Regulating Liquid Nicotine

January 11, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress today gave final approval to a bill requiring manufacturers to put child-proof caps on small bottles of liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the measure, which the Senate passed last month. The bill, filed by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), now heads to the president for his signature. 

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

Nelson’s bill – the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015 – requires child-resistant packaging for any liquid nicotine vial sold in the United States. Nelson first introduced the measure in 2014 following increased reports of children falling ill, and, in at least one case, dying from liquid nicotine poisoning.

Liquid nicotine is sold in concentrated form for use in e-cigarettes, and is often packaged in easy-to-open, brightly-colored vials with appealing flavors such as Yummy Gummy, Cotton Candy and Tutti Frutti. Just a single teaspoon of highly-concentrated liquid nicotine could kill a small child, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

The AAPCC also found that calls to poison control centers related to liquid nicotine exposure have spiked in recent years, climbing from just one call per month in September 2010 to 318 calls per month in March 2015.  Many of these calls involved children five years old or younger.