By Elise Viebeck - 07/14/14 11:33 AM EDT
Some e-cigarette makers say they will support additional regulation of their products in order to prevent harm to children.
The American Vaping Association (AVA) threw its weight behind new legislation from Senate Democrats that would require childproof packaging for liquid nicotine, the drug used in e-cigarettes.
AVA President Gregory Conley said the measure aligns with his group's goal of helping traditional smokers quit.
"E-cigarettes help smokers quit the tobacco habit, but they aren't for children," Conley said in a statement Monday.
"We urge Congress to pass common-sense laws that make clear that e-cigarettes aren't child's play."
The group represents independent manufactures of e-cigarettes. The devices are also produced by major tobacco companies.
The AVA argues that e-cigarettes are good for the public health because they help smokers give up tobacco cigarettes.
A handful of studies have suggested this is true, though doctors caution that smoking e-cigarettes poses its own set of health risks.
Liquid nicotine is also dangerous when ingested or absorbed through the skin, and accidental poisonings among children have risen sharply.
The legislation introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) on Thursday would require safety caps on bottles of the liquid.
"We have childproof containers on everything from vitamins to ibuprofen, so it’s just plain common sense that we place childproof mechanisms on highly-toxic and poisonous liquid nicotine," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a supporter of the bill.
Nelson introduced the measure as the Food and Drug Administration is proposing a crackdown on e-cigarettes.
The AVA said it supports banning sales to minors but opposes treating e-cigarettes as tobacco products in regulation.