The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking to take regulatory action over liquid nicotine, which is used in electronic cigarettes. On Tuesday, the agency “issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comments, data, research, and/or other information related to nicotine exposure warnings and child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine, nicotine-containing e-liquid(s), and potentially for other tobacco products including, but not limited to novel tobacco products such as dissolvables, lotions, gels, and drinks.”
The proposal is open to public commentary for 60 days. The FDA has evaluated data on liquid nicotine and its risks, particularly for accidental exposure among infants and children. The agency notes that as e-cigarettes have become more popular, the number of calls to poison control centers and emergency room visits related to liquid nicotine have increased. Based on this data, the FDA wants more input as to whether it should place warnings about nicotine exposure or require some tobacco products to be sold in child-resistant packaging.
The FDA proposed rules to regulate e-cigarettes last year. The devices are marketed as being a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes and as a cessation tool. However, a growing body of research suggests that e-cigarettes are not without health risks. Earlier this year, researchers from National Jewish Health in Denver showed that liquid in e-cigarettes may increase the risk of viral lung infections.
Safety concerns surrounding e-cigarettes have been on the rise as the devices have become increasingly popular. Federal data released in April showed that the use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students increased three-fold from 2013 to 2014. Last year, a 1-year-old child in Fort Plain, New York died after ingesting liquid nicotine.