Toddler’s death renews push for e-cig regs

Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonFederal agency under fire for selling recalled cars Senators offer renewed hope of ending hotel booking scams Yahoo hack spurs push for legislation MORE (D-Fla.) is reviving calls for regulations on e-cigarettes following the death a toddler in upstate New York last month. 

The Mohawk Valley 1-year-old died after he swallowed liquid nicotine, the chemical used in electronic cigarettes, according to media reports.

The tragedy pushed Nelson to reintroduce his Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act in the Senate on Tuesday. The bill he authored directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue new rules requiring safer, child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine containers.

Marketed as e-juice by some manufacturers, the easy-to-open vials are often brightly colored and come in various flavors like berry crunch, banana, bubble gum and green apple. 

“If we can prevent even one child’s death or keep one fewer child from falling ill, then we absolutely have a responsibility to do that,” Nelson said in statement. 

Nelson introduced the same piece of legislation last year, but one objection kept the bill from passing by unanimous consent. 

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) said it has been working closely with Nelson ever since. 

In November, poison control centers reported that 2014 calls over e-cigarettes had nearly doubled from the 1,543 exposures reported in 2013, with the majority of cases involving children younger than six. 

In a joint release at the time, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and AAPCC urged federal legislators to take immediate action by passing Nelson’s bill. 

“We cannot afford to wait another day while the number of children exposed to and poisoned by e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine continues to climb,” AAP's then President James M. Perrin, said in the release. 

“As pediatricians, we do everything in our power to keep children safe, and now we are calling on Congress to help do the same.” 

The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015 will head to the Senate Commerce Committee for an initial vote.