Legislation Pushes for Safety Caps on Liquid Nicotine

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By Stephanie Tyrpak
By Jared Roberts

WILLIAMSON CO. --   Poison Control Centers have seen a spike in calls about liquid nicotine. The juice is used in e-cigarettes, and some lawmakers feel the flavors are attractive to children. This week, they proposed a bill that would require safety caps on the nicotine bottles.

However, others believe parents should do more to keep the vials out of kids' hands. 
 
S.I. Vapors opened its doors last September. Each week, they see new customers coming in to give e-cigarettes and the flavored liquid nicotine a try.
 
"I think here in five-ten years, it might look weird for somebody to have a cigarette," said manager Jake Weaver. "And it might be normal for someone to have an e-cig on them."
 
As the industry's popularity grows, Weaver has seen changes over the few months. The Herrin store offers child-proof bottles.
 
"It's got that locking effect," said Weaver. "Push down and twist."
 
At least one brand also now manufactures the safety feature already on the bottle. 
 
"Honestly, it's not been a big thing," said Weaver. "Nobody really asks. I mean even if we do tell them, most of the time they don't want it."
 
The current steps to prevent kids from getting into the sometimes brightly-colored and flavored juices aren't enough for a group of federal lawmakers, like U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
 
This week, that group filed legislation that requires safer, child-resistant packaging for any liquid nicotine.
 
The move comes after a spike in poison control reports. There's been more than 1,500 calls so far this year.
 
In a statement, Durbin said:
 
"There is a word for the toxic candy-flavored liquids found in electronic cigarettes: poison. Protecting our nation's children from exposure to poison is basic common sense, especially when it can have dangerous and fatal consequences like liquid nicotine." 
 
The bill also has support from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
 
Still, it's regulation that Weaver doesn't believe is needed or that customers really want.
 
"Honestly, I feel like they're just trying to get control of a profitable business," said Weaver. 
 
The most common results of nicotine poisoning are vomiting, nausea, or eye irritation. The drug can cause problems if it's swallowed, inhaled, or spilled on skin.
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