Federal Legislators Want Liquid Nicotine Bottles to Have Safety Caps

Aug 20, 2014

An assortment of liquid nicotine bottles.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / lindsay-fox

A dozen Senate Democrats are pushing federal legislation that would require child-proof bottles for the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.

The legislative push comes after a sharp uptick in calls to poison control centers. "These liquid nicotine products look and smell like candy and soda and other kinds of attractive products to kids and therefore there's a high likelihood that they will get into them," said Amy Hanoian Fontana of the Connecticut Poison Control Center at UConn Health. 

In 2010, Hanoian Fontana said there were zero calls reporting liquid nicotine poisoning. This year, there have been 19 statewide. That's a small percentage of the Center's total calls, but Hanoian Fontana said the upward trend is national. "It's really concerning because it's growing in popularity and people just don't realize how deadly it could be," she said.

Hanoian Fontana said liquid nicotine poisoning could cause vomiting, tremors, and even seizures. "Senator Blumenthal has introduced the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2014, which really advocates that there's safe packaging around e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine," she said.

Other state officials have demanded regulations including a ban on selling flavored nicotine products. The battery-powered devices allow users to inhale vapor from a heated liquid nicotine solution. The bill is currently in review in the Senate. 

This report contains information from the Associated Press.