It has been reported that in Columbus, Ohio, Sen. Shannon Jones, a Springboro Republican, has introduced legislation that would require the liquid nicotine used for electronic cigarettes to be sold in child-resistant packaging in Ohio.
Liquid nicotine refills are available in a variety of flavors and these can be appealing to children due to their sweet aromas. However, this is dangerous as ingesting as little as half a teaspoon of the liquid can prove fatal. It is for this reason, that Jones feels it is necessary to implement childproof packaging for e-cigarette vapor refills.
The vapor contained in e-cigarette cartridges is difficult for a child to puncture and ingest, so therefore the bill would not be applicable to this. Federal legislation requiring child-resistant packaging, cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, failed to pass last year but was reintroduced in January.
Another cause for concern is the fact that nearly 4000 calls were made to poison control centers in America last year and it has been found that Ohio averages two cases of poisoning from liquid vapor a month, with five in January alone.
Rick Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Control Center, was quoted as saying: "If you could put child-resistant closures on bleach and mouthwash and aspirin bottles, why can't we put it on something as dangerous as liquid nicotine?"
The bill would require the packaging to be "significantly difficult, within a reasonable time, for a child under five years of age to open or to obtain a toxic or harmful amount of the substance," according to a draft of the bill. Violators would be fined up to $1,000 per violation.
The vapor law would be enforced by The Department of Public Safety, who also enforces state tobacco laws.
Gregory Conley is the president of the American Vaping Association. According to him, vapor companies aren't opposed to improving packaging but are concerned about handing the rulemaking authority over to a state agency. He went on to say that other states that have passed similar laws rely on the federal definition of child-resistant packaging instead of tasking state officials to create one.
Apparently chemical companies are able to sell their products anywhere because they follow federal guidelines for child-resistant packaging.
"We support child-resistant packaging because it's already the standard in the industry and the responsible thing to do," Conley said.
Even though it's the standard, Conley said the small- and medium-sized businesses that make up the liquid vapor market struggle with finding manufacturers that can produce child-resistant packaging to order.