Bennet Cosponsored Bill Following Reports of Children Being Poisoned
In the wake of recent reports showing a surge in the number of children being poisoned by liquid nicotine, a Senate committee voted today to require manufacturers to put child-proof caps on the small bottles available for purchase in stores across the country. The bill, cosponsored by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, was introduced by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).
“As parents, we worry that these products are marketed with names that are attractive to kids,” Bennet said. “The amount of nicotine in these tiny bottles can do a lot of harm and possibly even kill a child. With the popularity of e-cigarettes on the rise, this is a commonsense bill that will help protect our kids. The Senate should quickly pass it.”
The Senate Commerce Committee, by a unanimous voice vote, approved the bill that would require child-resistant packaging for any liquid nicotine sold to consumers. It now goes to the full Senate.
The effort to make liquid nicotine safer for consumers gained momentum in the U.S. House of Representatives where Rep. Elizabeth Etsy of Connecticut has filed legislation nearly identical to the Senate bill.
Nationwide, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there have been more than 2,700 calls regarding liquid nicotine exposure through August 31 of this year – a pace that already doubles last year’s total. And the 1,351 cases reported last year represented a 300 percent increase from the 2012 total.
The bill is also sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Charles Schumer (D-NY).
As a result of these increasingly worrisome statistics, the bill has drawn the support of a long list of supporters and advocates including: the American Academy of Otolaryngology, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Respiratory Care, American Association of Poison Control Centers, American College of Cardiology, American College of Medical Toxicology, American College of Physicians, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Public Health Association, Arizona Consumers Council, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Boston Public Health Commission, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund, Chicago Consumer Coalition, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Federation of California, Consumer Federation of the Southeast, Consumers Union, EverThrive Illinois, First Focus Campaign for Children, Kids in Danger, March of Dimes, Minnesota Department of Health, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Ohio Public Health Association, Oncology Nursing Society, Partnership for Prevention, Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG and Virginia Citizens Consumer Council.