California lawmaker wants traditional oversight for electronic cigarettes

By Brooke Purves

Vapers beware: Senator Mark Leno recently introduced a bill to classify electronic cigarettes containing nicotine as a tobacco product, and regulate them under smoking laws.

But that’s not all: In January, the California Department of Public Health published a report on the dangers of e-cigarettes, especially to the very young.

Although there are nicotine-free liquids for e-cigs, most e-liquids contain some nasty ingredients, none of which has to be listed on the product’s label. And kids are getting sick from it.

California saw more than 150 e-cig poisonings in children under 6 last year alone, because, the report suggests, e-cartridges and e-liquid bottles don’t have child-resistant caps, making for easy access to the sometimes colorful, fragrant liquid inside.

The spike in national poisonings and the possibly e-liquid-related death of a 1-year-old in New York put lawmakers into action. Senator Barbara Boxer was one of 17 cosponsors of the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2014, which would require childproof packaging on e-products.

E-cigarettes aren’t subject to the same advertising restrictions as traditional cigarettes, like bans on commercial spots and the use of cartoon characters. The CDPH report suggests this further opened the door for marketing electronic smokes to children.

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