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Where we stand: Child-resistant packaging and warning labels for ends

Prompted by increases in calls to poison control centers related to exposure of children to nicotine, in late June 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The ANPRM sought comments related to nicotine exposure warnings and child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine, nicotine-containing e-liquids, and potentially for other tobacco products including novel tobacco products such as dissolvables, lotions, gels and drinks.

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Congress has also taken notice of the increase in child nicotine poisonings. H.R. 3242 is a bipartisan bill requiring special packaging for liquid nicotine containers. The bill recently passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee pushing it to the House floor.

Truth Initiative has submitted comments to the FDA urging them to act quickly to require child-resistant packaging and take care striking the right balance when it comes to the content of the warning labels. Adult smokers may use electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) – like e-cigarettes – as an alternative to more lethal combustible tobacco products. We believe a warning label should not overstate the risk of nicotine to those adult smokers. We also asked FDA to include a “Keep Out of Reach of Children” warning on ENDS and e-liquids.

We also joined a group of public health interests led by the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium that submitted a joint letter to the FDA. Those groups are seeking a product standard to combat nicotine poisoning and require child-resistant packaging for all products that contain nicotine in a form that is easily ingestible.

The next step for the FDA is to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register, which would give the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed regulation.

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