Nicotine-related calls to poison control centers are rising, authorities say
The FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes or other "novel tobacco products" such as gels and dissolvables
The Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to add exposure warning labels and child-resistant packaging to liquid nicotine.
The agency posted a 15-page “notice of proposed rulemaking” on its website Tuesday, requesting “comments, data, research results or other information that may inform regulatory actions FDA might take” regarding warnings and packaging for liquid nicotine and other tobacco products. The public has 60 days to weigh in via email or old-fashioned snail mail.
Liquid nicotine is used in electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine to the user as a vapor. They are usually battery-operated and come with a replaceable cartridge that contains liquid nicotine. When heated, the liquid in the cartridge turns into a vapor that’s inhaled.
“The continuing rise in popularity of electronic nicotine devices (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes, which often use liquid nicotine and nicotine-containing e-liquids, has coincided with an increase in calls to poison control centers and visits to emergency rooms related to liquid nicotine poisoning and other nicotine exposure risks,” the FDA said in the notice.
The proposal also extends to other “novel tobacco products,” including lotions, gels, dissolvables, and drinks.
Overall regulation of e-cigarettes is a hot topic. Last year, the FDA proposed rules to regulate e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, water pipe tobacco and hookahs, which would greatly expand its authority. Currently, the agency regulates traditional cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco.