The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act
E-liquid packaging is about to be regulated by the federal government, and that may mean some changes to the products we buy. The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act was signed into law earlier this year by President Obama, and gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) authority to regulate the packaging of nicotine-containing e-liquid beginning July 26.
However, according to an article on PackagingLaw.com, zero-nic e-juice is not covered by the law.
The article was written by attorneys from Washington, DC, law firm Keller and Heckman LLC — the firm that is handling the Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition lawsuit challenging the FDA’s deeming regulations — including Azim Chowdhury, who is leading that legal effort. Keller and Heckman specializes in regulatory law.
The law requires child resistant caps for any “package from which nicotine in a solution or other form is accessible through normal and foreseeable use by a consumer and that is used to hold soluble nicotine in any concentration.” In other words, bottled e-liquid is covered, but closed-system products like pod systems and cigalikes are not. It also requires complicated testing be carried out on all bottles, and the manufacturers and retailers who sell the liquid to be able to show a General Certificate of Conformity.
Special requirements and mandated testing for bottles
According to the Keller article, “Special packaging requirements would not apply to ‘sealed, pre-filled, and disposable’ nicotine containers that are ‘inserted directly into an electronic cigarette, electronic nicotine delivery system, or other similar product,’ so long as the nicotine is not accessible to consumers ‘through customary or reasonably foreseeable handling or use, including reasonably foreseeable ingestion or other contact by children.’”
CPSC already implements the Poison Packaging Prevention Act of 1970 (PPPA), Pub. L. 91–601, 84 Stat. 1,670 (Dec. 30, 1970). That law requires certain household substances to have packaging that makes it significantly difficult for children under five years old to open within a reasonable amount of time. The PPPA is regarded as one of the CPSC’s biggest successes. For example, CPSC estimates a 45% reduction in deaths of children under 5 due to the unintentional ingestion of aspirin or oral prescriptions.
To meet PPPA requirements, 80% of children should not be able to open the special packaging after 10 minutes of attempting to open it. The CPSC has adopted specifically prescribed testing. Additionally, 90% of adults must be able to open the packages. A minimum of one panel of 50 children must be tested, along with 100 adults aged 50 to 70 years old. Manufacturers or importers of products that require special packaging must issue certificates of conformity indicating that their products comply with the special packaging requirements, and must issue/furnish them to distributors and retailers, and make them available to the CPSC or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon request, under provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
Responsible vaping manufacturers have already been using child-resistant packaging for some time, but this law mandates specific requirements that all child-resistant bottles may not meet. Any vendor that has any doubts that the e-liquids they sell are in compliance with the requirements of the new law would be wise to consult packaging experts and attorneys before July 26.