Online Program

Preventing Nicotine Poisoning Among Children and Youth

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Michael Freiberg, JD, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN
Desmond Jenson, J.D., Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, St. Paul, MN
With the increased popularity of e-cigarettes, concentrated nicotine is widely available in appealing flavors and bright packaging. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in instances of child poisonings from this e-liquid in the last two years.  The first death was reported in late 2014 when a New York child was killed from accidental exposure to liquid nicotine. Local and state governments from Davis County, Utah, to the states of Illinois, Minnesota and Vermont have only recently begun to address this problem by requiring childproof packaging for liquid nicotine containers. This session will describe the toxic effects of liquid nicotine, highlight data showing the increase in nicotine poisonings, and describe policy options state or local governments can consider to address this sudden public health dilemma.  This session will describe several potential policy options to address the problem of child poisonings from liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes. The most direct approach would be a child-resistant requirement for all e-liquid packaging. The session will examine the few existing laws that have attempted this approach, discussing the effectiveness of these laws as evidenced by poisoning data in those communities. The session will explore other options, such as a prohibition on flavored e-liquid, vape shop moratoriums, and sales-to-minors laws and discuss the advantages of these approaches.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe effects of concentrated nicotine on children and adults, emphasizing risk of poisoning. List nicotine poisoning statistics for recent years. Evaluate state and local policy options to address poisoning risk of nicotine.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Chemical Exposures & Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Desmond Jenson is a staff attorney with the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, a program of the Public Health Law Center. Desmond provides legal technical assistance to the public health community regarding tobacco policy issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.