MO lawmakers pass bill to childproof e-cigarette refills

MO lawmakers proposing liquid nicotine have child-proof packaging
Doctors say only a teaspoon of liquid nicotine could be lethal to children.
Doctors say only a teaspoon of liquid nicotine could be lethal to children.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Missouri lawmakers are in full support of making it harder for kids to get into liquid nicotine, the substance used in e-cigarettes.

This week senators approved a measure 33-0 that would require child-proof packaging.

The bill needs one last vote from Governor Jay Nixon before it is made into law.

If he approves it, child-proof packaging on all liquid nicotine would need to meet federal guidelines.

Tabitha Scharenborg, co-owner of Project V in Cape Girardeau, fully supports keeping e-cigarettes out of children's hands.

According to the American Association of Poison Control, one teaspoon of liquid nicotine could be lethal to a child.

Scharenborg says Project V already takes steps to keep the liquid out of the wrong hands by putting warning labels on each bottle and using child proof caps.

However, she says there is only so much they can do.

"I always try to remind people that they are child proof but kids are kids, they chew on everything," Scharenborg said.

Scharenborg is not in support, though, of having to pre-package their products.

She is afraid if this becomes law, the extra packaging cost would hurt their bottom line.

"We waste a lot of money by trying to decide what people are going to like," Sharenborg said. "For a small company that's very hard to do because people change up their preferences of nicotine and their flavoring and it would hinder us a lot because we don't pre-package it. We make it upon request."

Parents like Heather Wiseman doesn't believe regulations would help anyways.

She said if kids want into something, they will find a way.

"They basically do what they want to do," Wiseman said. "Ain't no stopping them. They basically grown-ups in a little body."

Scharenborg said that is why it ultimately comes down to the parents responsibility.

"It's our job to make the parents aware that they need to keep their stuff out of their children's reach but whenever it's taken home to the parents and the children's living space, it's really up to the parents to keep it out of the way," Scharenborg said.

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