A picture of Representative Elizabeth H. Esty
Elizabeth E.
Democrat CT 5

About Rep. Elizabeth
  • Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015

    by Representative Elizabeth H. Esty

    Posted on 2016-01-11

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    ESTY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act.

    Along with Senator Nelson, I proudly introduced the Child Nicotine Prevention Act last year. This year it has been a real pleasure to work with my good friend Susan Brooks.

    I would like to thank her as well as Representative Schakowsky, Representative Sarbanes, Chairman Upton, Ranking Member Pallone, and all of the staff for their help on this commonsense, important-- literally, lifesaving--legislation that I hope we will pass today and put on the President's desk tonight.

    As a mom, I can only imagine the pain felt by parents whose children have been poisoned by a substance that, so far, the Federal Government has done nothing from which to protect their children.

    It is understandable that children are attracted by the liquid nicotine that is being sold right now through e-cigarettes. The packages are brightly colored. They look like candy. They have flavors like strawberry, gummy bears, cotton candy, peppermint, chocolate. Once you open the package, it smells like candy.

    It is not surprising, particularly at the holidays, that children who are seeing brightly colored food flavorings and who are dyeing cookies and making them bright colors would be curious. They smell it and want to taste it. Just a little over a year ago a 2-year-old died in New York from ingesting this.

    Even a small bottle of liquid nicotine has enough poison to kill four small children; so, I am grateful to my friends today on both sides of the aisle for having joined us to reduce the risk of these poisonings by adding the simple packaging that we are all familiar with, those plastic wrappings that are on every bottle of eyedrops, on every bottle of contact lens solution, and on all poisons and commonsense household products that we know could endanger an adult.

    But here we are talking about children, and they deserve our protection. Liquid nicotine, which is just as dangerous, deserves to have that packaging.

    This bipartisan legislation will require that all liquid nicotine quantities be childproofed. It is a simple, commonsense measure. It will save lives. I ask that all of my colleagues support this legislation today so as to ensure that liquid nicotine packaging in all sizes and shapes and colors and flavors is childproofed.

    We have worked very hard to ensure that we are working within the FDA's authority, giving them time to develop final rules. But, frankly, we have already waited over a year. We have already had a death in the last year, and there has been a huge increase in the number of calls to poison centers. So it is past time for us to act.

    Again I thank my colleagues, particularly the chairman and Susan Brooks, for their leadership.

    I urge my colleagues to join us today. Let's get this on the President's desk for signature. Let's get our children protected from the dangers of liquid nicotine.

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