WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown today announced that the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act, which he cosponsored, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives this evening and now heads to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law. The bill, which passed in the Senate in December, will help protect children from accidental poisonings and death from liquid nicotine.
“If something has the potential to poison our children, it should be treated as a poison. For years we’ve childproofed common household substances like cleaning supplies, yet we’ve allowed potentially deadly liquid nicotine to be marketed and sold in stores across the country without as much as a warning label,” said Brown. “Signing this bill into law will save lives by making sure liquid nicotine containers are treated with the same caution as other poisonous substances.”
Marketed with flavors appealing to children, like “Cotton Candy,” “Fruity Loops,” and “Gummi Bear,” small containers of liquid nicotine can contain enough nicotine to kill four small children. While children are protected from bleach, aspirin, and mouthwash with child-proof packaging, liquid nicotine packages are not required to be child resistant. The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act would codify the poison packaging protections articulated by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act and ensure these protections and requirements apply to all liquid nicotine containers. In addition, the legislation will preserve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) current authority in regard to packaging under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
Brown has been a leader in efforts to protect children from the dangers of e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine. In addition to calling for greater nicotine exposure warnings and child-resistant packaging, Brown has also urged the Obama Administration to finalize tobacco deeming regulations that would give the agency the same regulatory authority it has over cigarettes to other unregulated tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes and hookah. In the year that the FDA has failed to finalize regulations, e-cigarette use among both high school and middle school students has tripled.