PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Governor Gina Raimondo has signed a bill into law banning e-cigarette use on school grounds and also requiring child-resistant packaging for e-liquid used in electronic nicotine-delivery systems
The legislation was sponsored by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and Rep. Teresa Tanzi on behalf of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
“E-cigarettes are, quite simply, just another way to consume nicotine, and unfortunately, it is a method that has particular appeal to kids because it offers enticing flavors,” said Senate President Ruggerio. “We banned cigarettes on school property decades ago, and we should not leave an opening for e-cigarettes, or it would send kids a message that they are safe to use. They aren’t, and they don’t belong on school property.”
Rep. Tanzi says the marketing of e-liquids in bright colors and flavors is intended to tempt young people and children.
“At the bare minimum, they should be sold in child-proof containers to keep their toxic contents out of the mouths of small children who think they look like candy or juice,” she said. “This is a standard requirement for over-the-counter drugs, and we should hold e-liquid to at least the same standard to protect kids.”
The new law requires all liquid “intended for human consumption and/or use in an electronic nicotine-delivery system” to be contained in child-resistant packaging, which means packaging that is designed to be significantly difficult for children under five to open or obtain a harmful amount of the substance inside within a reasonable time.
“The popularity and use of e-cigarettes and vaping products continues to rise. While the jury is still out on the health effects of e-cigarettes versus the known health problems caused by traditional nicotine products, we can all agree that these products should be kept out of the hands of children,” adds Attorney General Kilmartin. “Most troubling is that these products – especially e-liquids – come in a variety of enticing flavors, such as candy crush and gummy bear, which appeal to children. There is currently no such regulation on this toxic product with respect to child-resistant packaging.”
The new law takes affect Jan. 1.