E-Liquid Packaging Law Goes Into Effect July 26

New federal law mandates specific bottles and caps

E-Liquid Vektor

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

Safety First

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.

Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.
  • tmom

    It’s already in child proof packaging! I can tell because I have so much trouble opening it!

    • Jim McDonald

      Yeah. most of it is.

      • Tim Schultz

        Actually most of what is out there probably isn’t going to qualify.. the whole industry is scrambling right now.. The requirements are very specific and documentation must be on site for every bottle/cap combination in your store..

        I would gather at least half of the product on the shelves across the country isn’t going to have the proper documentation come the 26th…

  • Blackg

    This this right here is an example of proper regulation, there are many companies that don’t conform to good safe practices like these. But this law is a true well worded and placed regulation that everyone can get behind. Granted this law is a little late to the game but still it shows that there are still legislators that are actually genuinely concerned on safe and effective regulations for the industry

  • Carol Woodman

    Of course the drug companies want to control the product and profits. The same drug companies who continually put untested pharmaceuticals on the market. Why does the FDA not control these in the same way by testing them first….ummm?…

    • Jim McDonald

      Not sure what you’re referring to. How do drug companies have anything to do with the e-liquid market? Also, drugs undergo years of testing before going to market.

      • Kyle Hadfield

        That surely doesn’t mean there safe and you truly can’t believe that if its fda approved you have nothing to worry about?! I hear everyday of a drug once approved by the fda but now you can sue for because the fda now deems it unsafe- and the only reason being is record of the adverse side effects. That’s more just trying to cover their arse. I see/hear to many times that “if the benefits outweigh the risk” when it comes to a drug. I’m sure there’s a situation for everything but giving a young child oxy for example- I’m sure there are far safer alternatives, don’t you think. The point being made was along the lines of what I said about “benefits outweigh the risk”, the benefits of vaping outweigh any risk when comparing to smoking- period.

        • Jim McDonald

          Yeah, of course problems occur with drugs after testing. But nothing goes on the market “untested,” which is what I referred to. We fought the FDA’s original claim that e-cigs were a drug delivery device for the exact reason that it would have forced us into the world of exacting drug regulation with years-long testing regimens. I don’t know enough about pain management to judge on the idea of giving children opioids — and I doubt if many of the people who oppose the idea do either.

  • DrJayMagooIII

    I disagree. I’m an adult who neither wants nor needs regulation. Looks like there’s one hoser in this thread who fell for the old ‘won’t someone think of children’ routine. Millenials have been so brainwashed they think ‘freedom from being offended’ is a constitutional protection. Ben Franklin said ‘Those who exchange freedom for security deserve neither.’

  • Bryan Beck

    Because kids can’t cut or break disposable pods… give big tobacco more hand jobs governments. They will keep funding your lies and pointless campaigns to convince us your not evil money grubbers.

  • Chris

    I don’t see a problem with this standard, but I don’t think they should make it retroactive.

    • Chris

      They just better not fuck with my ability to get juice, because I will hulk rage if I have to smoke a cigarette.

  • Jenn Perry

    I have MS and there are times I can’t open the damn bottles. I am tired of “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” OMG A kid can get to a cigarette chew it and die faster then most of these bottles. Be real.