ALBANY – State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has joined his counterparts in Indiana and Illinois to call on federal officials to take action to prevent poisoning of children from liquid nicotine and other novel tobacco products.
In a letter Tuesday to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the attorneys general requested that the agency develop standards for child-resistant packaging and to put warning labels on the liquid used in e-cigarettes as well as nicotine-based dissolvables, lotions, gels and drinks.
The request comes in the midst of a surge of use in e-cigarettes, which tripled among middle school and high school students from 2013 to 2014.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports a recent uptick in calls resulting from exposure to e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine. There were nearly 3,800 such calls last year, up from about 1,500 the year before. Half those calls related to children under 5.
Liquid nicotine is highly toxic and must be diluted before it can be used in e-cigarettes. A single teaspoon of liquid nicotine can be lethal to a child, and smaller amounts can cause severe illness, often requiring trips to the emergency room.