On July 14, 2014 Senator Bill Nelson of Florida asked for and was granted permission to address the United States Senate regarding the need to regulate the liquid nicotine product in e-cigarettes:
“Madam President, I wish to show us these innocent-looking small bottles with an eye dropper of three types of liquid. This is liquid nicotine. The eye droppers are used to put that into the cartridges for electronic cigarettes, otherwise known as e-cigarettes. There are some versions that look the size of a cigarette that already have the liquid nicotine contained in them, but there are many flavors that are otherwise contained in these kinds of dispensers.
When our commerce committee had a hearing on e-cigarettes, I asked the question: Are these childproof? The answer was: No.
I asked the question: If these are not childproof, is the concentration of nicotine in these sufficient that it could harm a child? The answer was: Yes.
As a matter of fact, there are varying degrees of concentration of liquid nicotine in these bottles, but some of them are as concentrated as 540 milligrams of liquid nicotine. If a small child got into these bottles, which are not childproof, and ingested this, that child would either be deathly ill or dead. If that child gets into it and it spills on that child, it will be absorbed through the skin and likewise, according to the concentration of the nicotine, the child will be very ill.
Obviously, when we had the commerce committee hearing on e-cigarettes, I asked the question–once they said these are not childproof–of the e-cigarette industry, which was represented at the witness panel: Do you have any objection? They said: No.
So last Thursday a group of Senators filed a bill that will require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to start and adopt a rule that will cause these to be sold in childproof containers. This is a no-brainer. This is common sense.
Why hasn’t it been addressed before? It defies common sense because of the danger to children. Already, in this year 2014, between January and the end of May, there were almost 2,000 calls for liquid nicotine poisoning to the poison centers around the country–just in that 5-month period. We already have a recorded incident 1 year ago or so of one child having been killed. This ought to be not only a no-brainer, it ought to fly through this Congress and get the CPSC to get on with regulating it administratively.
What is another reason? Well, look what this one is called, with a picture, Banana; this one is Naked Peach; this one is Juice E Juice. Appealing to kids? How about Banana Split or Cotton Candy or Kool-Laid Grape or Skittles or Sweet Tart or Gummi Bear or Fruity Loops or Rocket Pop or Hawaiian Punch? That is what is going on.
There happens to be a part of government that is supposed to try to protect the public from danger. This is obviously something that ought to be done.
There is a larger question, and that is the question of e-cigarettes. That is not the subject of this legislation. With all due haste, the CPSC–and, oh, by the way, why the CPSC instead of the Food and Drug Administration? Because the Consumer Product Safety Commission is vested with the authority to create container packaging and safety packaging. So if Tylenol is childproof in its packaging, if Drano is, if any other obvious item that you want to childproof is, then we best have this done and done fast. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is the way to do it.
I hope by the attention this received in the hearing 2 or 3 weeks ago, plus the fact of a group of Senators now coming together and filing this legislation, the CPSC isn’t going to wait around until we pass it, but it will get on with the problem.
There is a larger question. This is on an additional but related issue, and that is the advisability of e-cigarettes and the way they are being marketed.
As a matter of fact, on e-cigarettes there is some packaging where it looks like a white cigarette. Guess what is happening. It is now like we have seen this movie before. This is a rerun of what went on 20 years ago when, finally, because of tobacco products, the advertising on television and radio was banned by law because it was geared at getting young people hooked on tobacco. There were very attractive young models who were shown smoking cigarettes, wonderfully beautiful backgrounds on the television and the beautiful music on radio, and, indeed, there were advertisements with cartoons aimed at what? It came out in all of the tobacco wars that these were aimed at young people, getting them hooked on tobacco so they would be lifelong tobacco smokers and it would be tough to kick the habit. So a couple of decades ago we went through that fight and we banned the television and radio advertising of tobacco.
Well, guess what is happening now–beautiful and handsome models with the e-cigarette, cartoons aimed at young people with e-cigarettes. So another question this Senate should consider is banning the advertising that is obviously directed at young people to try to get them hooked on this nicotine product so that it is so hard for them to get off of the nicotine addiction over the course of time.
I can tell you that the commerce committee is going to stay on this, and the first thing we can do is give a little sweet talk to the CPSC to get moving on the regulatory process of a rule to require the childproof packaging of this liquid nicotine. The next thing down the road is to stop the advertising that is being aimed directly at young people on the whole issue of electronic cigarettes.
I yield the floor and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. NELSON. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.”
Source: Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov/
See related article: en Braun: Politicians are lying about e-cigarette dangershttp://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/07/ken_braun_politicians_are_lyin.html
See also: DA warns on dangers of e-cigarettes http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/434233/fda-warns-on-dangers-of-e-cigarettes