Sen. Bill Nelson calls for new e-cigarette regulations

FDA "not fast enough" with regulating products

TAMPA, Fla. - Florida Sen. Bill Nelson has introduced legislation calling for childproof caps on all bottles of nicotine for e-cigarettes.

The proposed regulation touches on an issue the I-Team first reported in March.

Nelson compares liquid nicotine for e-cigarettes to barrels of poison arriving in the marketplace with no regulation.

He told the I-Team on Friday he wants new regulations to protect children and the general public from these products, which are increasing in popularity.

“Not fast enough and not enough,” said Nelson of the FDA’s response to regulating liquid nicotine, which is used in e-cigarettes.

Nelson said the products are targeting kids.

“Here's banana split, cotton candy, Kool Aide, Skittles,” said Nelson, reading a list of products to be regulated under the new law.

The vials of potentially poisonous liquids aren't currently required to have childproof caps.

So far more than 60 e-liquid poisoning cases have been reported in Florida. About 1,500 have occurred nationwide.

“If a child drinks it, that child is either gonna be deathly ill or dead,” Nelson said.

Nelson has introduced a bill that would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to mandate childproof caps on e-liquids.

He is also working on a proposal to ban television advertising of e-cigarettes, which Nelson said glamorizes the product.

“Here we go again. We've seen this movie before with what tobacco was doing to addict young people so that they're hooked for life on cigarettes,” he said.

Nelson said the government needs to step in sooner, rather than later, before more young people begin using the products.

“E-cigarettes are not regulated. The FDA is going to have to do that, and if they don't do it on their own, then Congress is going to have to make them,” said Nelson.

Nelson said he's working with other senators on a proposed TV advertising ban, something he expects will be heavily opposed by the multi-billion dollar e-cigarette industry.

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