CHANGES IN REGULATION
Regulation and purchasing of e-cigarettes and vaping devices has changed dramatically in the last several years. In 2015, the Child Nicotine Poison Prevention Act required that all liquid nicotine containers be sold in child-resistant packaging. While this has reduced the number of young children accidentally getting into liquid nicotine products, poison centers across the country still see a lot of exposures to the e-liquid.
In 2016, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act gave increased authority to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the manufacturing, distribution, and marking of all forms of tobacco and tobacco related products including vaping. As a result, the FDA has made the following changes:
- Photo ID is required for those purchasing under 27 years old
- Banned free samples and vending machine sales
- Warning statement on packaging
- Banned sales under 21 years old
- Increase restrictions on vape shops that mix or modify e-juice or devices
- Ban on most fruit and mint flavored e-liquids
CHANGES IN SUBSTANCES
When vaping was first introduced, most of the e-liquid was nicotine based. Today we are seeing a variety of vaping substances including some that contain THC (the chemical in marijuana that produces the high), methamphetamine and even caffeine and alcohol. These substances are not regulated, and the short-term and long-term health risks are not known.
CHANGES IN MEDICAL SCIENCE
When vaping was first introduced, the science was limited and information about the health dangers and risks of e-cigarettes was unknown. It is now known that e-cigarettes are not safe for teen and tween users, pregnant women and adults who do not currently use tobacco products. Just because they may be considered “less harmful” than traditional cigarettes does not mean they are safe. Additional risks are possible, including the risk of serious lung disease and addiction. Medical science continues to evolve to provide users with the most reliable information on the risks and concerns associated with vaping.
What hasn’t changed is that the Missouri Poison Center has been a trusted source of information for nearly 62 years. Call the Poison Help line to receive free, fast, and confidential poison information by calling one of our specially trained nurses and pharmacists at: 1-800-222-1222.