Conn. lawmakers demand safety caps for liquid nicotine

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) called on Congress to pass legislation that would require childproof caps on liquid nicotine bottles used to refill e-cigarettes.

“Liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes is a concentrated, deadly poison that — even in very small quantities — can kill a child,” Blumenthal said on Tuesday. “Simple, childproof bottles would go a long way to preventing future tragedy.”

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Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has introduced the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act, which would direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue rules requiring childproof caps for any liquid nicotine sold to consumers.

The lawmakers cited American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that there have been more than 1,500 calls regarding liquid nicotine exposure this year, which is on pace to have doubled since last year.

“Cases of accidental poisonings have skyrocketed over the past year, sending well over 1,000 people to emergency rooms nationwide with serious health consequences,” Blumenthal said. “It’s a basic safety measure that we take for many other substances, from aspirin to Drano, and it is common sense that we would require it here.”

Lawmakers have also grown increasingly concerned about the lack of federal regulations on e-cigarettes. Some have accused e-cigarette makers of targeting children with nicotine flavors like Gummi Bear.

“Nicotine is a dangerous, highly addictive drug that should not be sold, marketed or exposed to children,” Esty said. “I’m leading efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives to ban marketing of e-cigarettes to children and increase FDA protections, and I’m proud to join with Sen. Blumenthal and continue our call to keep our children safe.”

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