Limiting access to liquid nicotine

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has partnered with the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information to support a new law that will decrease the risk of children gaining access to liquid nicotine.

The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act now requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission to hold liquid nicotine packaging to the same standard as other child resistant packaging requirements for poisons and medications.

Liquid nicotine is manufactured for use in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), sold in a highly concentrated form and can be fatal if swallowed or absorbed in the skin. In 2014, there were 156 nicotine-related poisonings reported to the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information. These special packaging requirements aim to make it difficult for children less than five years of age to open or to obtain highly toxic contents.

“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of children getting into liquid nicotine products, and the vast majorities are less than six years of age,” said Dr. Scott Schaeffer, managing director of Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information. “The colorful labeling and packaging of these liquids and their flavorings, makes them very attractive to children.”

The law will go into effect on July 26, 180 days after the president’s authorization and applies to any form of chemical nicotine, regardless of whether naturally or synthetically derived.

“Child resistant packaging has been shown to reduce poisonings among small children. This law is an important and necessary step to protect children as the market for liquid nicotine products increases,” said Adrienne Rollins, Tobacco Use Prevention manager, OSDH Center for the Advancement of Wellness.

For more information, or call the OSDH Center for the Advancement of Wellness at 405-271-3619.