Child-proofing required immediately in the U.S.

child-proofing - Mark Morgan 900x540Countless bottles of e-liquid stocked by U.S. vape stores will unexpectedly become illegal tomorrow, following a U.S. federal agency’s last-minute decision to reinterpret the rules on child-proofing.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) had previously said that only e-liquid products packaged after 26th July would require child-proofing under the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act (CNPPA), signed into law by president Obama this year.

But “upon further legal analysis, CPSC staff has determined that the CNPPA applies to existing inventory on its inventory date. Thus, beginning on July 26, 2016, the sale of liquid nicotine in non-compliant containers is prohibited,” according to a guidance letter written on Friday by Mary F. Toro, director of the regulatory enforcement division in the CPSC’s office of compliance and field operations.

The child-proofing rules, defined by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (PPPA), state that a container must be “significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open within a reasonable time, and not difficult for normal adults to use properly”.

They will apply to nicotine-containing e-liquid in the type of containers that are sold for topping up refillable e-cigarettes such as tank systems. However, “containers that render the liquid inaccessible (e.g. pre-filled, disposable cartridges for e-cigarettes)…are exempted”, according to Toro’s letter.

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    The CPSC will be inspecting retailers and importers, she added.


    What This Means: While many manufacturers will already be compliant with the requirements, this is nevertheless a sudden and potentially heavy blow to brands, wholesalers and vape stores holding older stock.

    We will be exploring its impact over the next week, and note that the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is already seeking legal advice on its implications; while nobody disagrees that the CNPPA mandates child-proofing or indeed that it is desirable, might the abruptly altered date be challenged?

    – ECigIntelligence staff

    Photo: Mark Morgan

    Barnaby Page

    Editorial director
    Before joining ECigIntelligence in early 2014 as one of its first employees, Barnaby had a 30-year career as a reporter and editor for newspapers, magazines and online services, working in Canada, the US and the Middle East as well as his current British location. He has edited publications covering fields including technology and the advertising industry, and was launch editor of the first large daily online news service in the British regional media. Barnaby also writes on classical music and film for a number of publications. Barnaby manages the editorial and reporting teams and works closely with the analyst teams, to ensure that all content meets high standards of quality and relevance. He also writes for the site occasionally, mostly on science-related issues, and is a member of the Association of British Science Writers.

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