Congress has passed legislation to require child-resistant packaging for liquids that give e-cigarette their potency and flavor over serious concerns that children are being accidentally poisoned by the nicotine in these devices. According to a report on USA TODAY, the House of Representatives passed the bill this week and the Senate approved it last month. The bill will now go to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.
Instances of Poisoning
Nicotine is addictive for adults. But the stuff can become deadly when it comes to children. In 2014, a 1-year-old New York boy died after drinking the e-cigarette liquid. The number of child poisonings has risen dramatically as the popularity of e-cigs has climbed – from 271 cases in 2011 to 3,783 in 2014.
This is according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. More than 50 percent of these poisoning cases involved children under 6. The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, which represents e-cigarette companies, has supported legislation to create a standard requirement for child-proof caps. Many e-cigarette companies already use this type of child-resistant packaging.
Health Hazards to Youth
E-cigarettes are being marketed as devices to help smokers quit or at least switch to a less dangerous substitute. However, many recent studies have shown that e-cigarettes that are sold in flavors such as bubble gum and cotton candy are getting teenagers addicted to nicotine. E-cigarette use among children has also skyrocketed over the years, according to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a study released last week found that 70 percent of teens have seen ads for e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, e-cigarette manufacturers are spending millions of dollars to market and sell these products.
The Need for Regulation
While e-cigarette manufacturers insist that these products are harmless, study after study is showing that they have the potential to cause lung disease and could have other harmful health effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed regulations for e-cigs nearly two years ago. But so far, there has not been a final rule. Until then, our young people will continue be in serious danger.
As California personal injury lawyers who represent the rights of those who have been injured by defectively manufactured e-cigs, we welcome the legal requirement to use child-proof packaging for e-cigarettes. We hope the FDA will also very soon issue a final rule on e-cigarettes for the safety and well being of our children.