Floor Action

House passes bill to require child-proof nicotine packaging

The House sent legislation to the president's desk on Monday that will force manufacturers of electronic cigarettes to create child-proof packaging for their liquid nicotine products.

The bill, passed by voice vote, requires manufactures to follow the Consumer Product Safety Commission's standards and testing procedures in making sure liquid nicotine products are difficult for children under the age of five to open.

Calls for safer packaging came last year after a toddler in upstate New York died from swallowing the liquid chemical used in e-cigarettes. 

Health and industry groups have been pushing the Food and Drug Administration to assert its authority over all tobacco products and issue first-ever regulations for e-cigarettes and cigars when it comes to product sales, packaging and labels. 

Lawmakers warned that brightly colored packaging and appealing flavors can easily tempt children to sample what they don't realize is poisonous.

"Since there are no safety packing requirements currently under federal law, children aren't hindered in any way from their access to this potentially lethal product," said Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.).

"It is past time for us to act," said Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.). 

The Senate previously passed the legislation by unanimous consent in December.

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