Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sen. Bill Nelson calls for regulation of liquids in e-cigarettes

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson speaks at Friday’s news conference in Tampa about rules for “e-liquids.”

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson speaks at Friday’s news conference in Tampa about rules for “e-liquids.”

TAMPA — The electronic cigarette industry is growing quickly, prompting concerns about product safety, especially the risk of children ingesting vials of liquid nicotine used in the devices.

The bottles have enticing names like Naked Peach, Juicy Juice and Banana Split, which critics say can attract children who might mistake the bottles for candy.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, along with several other senators, is calling for regulation of the small bottles. Nelson introduced a bill this week — the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2014 — that would direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require safer, child-resistant packaging for any liquid nicotine sold to consumers.

"If we childproof other medicines, like Tylenol (and) aspirin, why in the world wouldn't we do this?" Nelson said Friday at a Tampa news conference.

The nicotine comes in a potent liquid form with varying concentrations, referred to by manufacturers as "e-liquids." Small amounts, whether ingested or absorbed through the skin, can cause vomiting, seizures and even be lethal.

So far this year, there have been more than 1,500 calls nationwide to poison control centers regarding liquid nicotine exposure. That's on pace to double last year's total, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

E-cigarettes have recently exploded in popularity partly because they're marketed as being safer than regular cigarettes, free of harmful chemicals. These bottles usually contain nicotine, solvents and flavoring. But because little research has been done on these battery-operated devices, consumers can't be entirely sure of what they're inhaling, Dr. Maximo Luque, director of the pediatric emergency center at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, said at the news conference.

The Food and Drug Administration plans to implement guidelines on the currently unregulated e-cigarettes and e-liquids. When asked if e-cigarette manufacturers have pushed back against the childproof requirement, Nelson said he hasn't heard any opposition. But he expects that to change when the government tries to regulate e-cigarette television advertisements like it does for tobacco.

"It seems like we've seen this movie before with tobacco and cigarettes," Nelson said.

Some e-cigarette companies have acted ahead of the regulation. Moon Mountain Vapor, an e-cigarette store in Brandon, already sells its e-liquid in childproof and tamper-evident bottles because it seemed like "the smart thing to do," said Jim Bowen, the company's general manager.

E-liquid can be bought from Moon Mountain Vapor in varying strengths up to 2.4 percent nicotine, and is sold in bottles ranging in size from 12 ml to 120 ml.

White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes in Tarpon Springs wanted to steer clear from selling e-liquid in vials because of the risk of accidental consumption or tampering, said Rob Burton, the director of corporate and regulatory affairs. Instead, its customers buy replaceable e-liquid cartridges that can't be opened.

"We don't like the idea of people tampering with the products," Burton said.

Contact Liz Crampton at ecrampton@tampabay.com or (813)-226-3401. Follow @liz_crampton.

Sen. Bill Nelson calls for regulation of liquids in e-cigarettes 07/11/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 11, 2014 8:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gov. Rick Scott could soon be the all-time king of line-item veto

    Blogs

    2016: $256,144,027

    2015: $461,387,164

    2014: $68,850,121

    2013: $367,950,394

    2012: $142,752,177

    2011: $615,347,550

    Only once has Scott used the line-item veto sparingly. That was in 2014, the year he ran for re-election, when he removed a paltry $69 million from the budget.

    Gov. Rick Scott waves a veto pen at The Villages in 2011.
  2. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon

    Blogs

    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  3. Resignation of communications director Dubke could signal more changes within White House staff

    National

    WASHINGTON — Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director, a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, in the first of what could be a series of changes to President Trump's senior staff amid the growing Russia scandal.

    President Donald Trump speaks at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 29, 2017, during a Memorial Day ceremony. [Associated Press]
  4. Trump pays somber tribute to fallen troops on Memorial Day

    National

    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed the nation's "boundless" gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice paid by Americans defending the United States, dedicating his first Memorial Day address as commander in chief to a top Cabinet secretary and two other families who lost loved ones.

    Brittany Jacobs, left, watches as her 6-year-old son Christian Jacobs meets President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. Jacobs father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, was killed in 2011. [Associated Press]
  5. Florida education news: Budgets, discipline, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    BUDGETING: Florida school district officials keep a close eye on their spending plans as they await word on the Legislature's budget. Gov. Rick Scott