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Monday September 30, 2019

Cantwell Inquires About CPSC Liquid Nicotine Activity

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) September 26 sought information in six areas from CPSC related to the Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act. She wrote ( that her reason was that "in the wake of a national health crisis involving vaping-related illnesses and deaths, the Commission's failure to enforce a law to keep these substances from poisoning small children is deeply troubling."


She gave an October 15 deadline for CPSC to provide documents related to:

  • Incident reports related to liquid nicotine poisonings, including via Section 15.

  • In-depth investigation reports on such poisoning incidents.

  • Staff presentations to commissioners related to enforcement and compliance actions.

  • Correspondences between liquid nicotine makers/sellers and commissioners' offices.

  • A list and associated documents of CPSC chairman directions to staff to "cease…delay, or otherwise impede or limit resources" on liquid nicotine packaging enforcement."

  • Polls or vote sheets of commissioners' actions related to "any deferral or suspension of enforcements."

The letter is directed to Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, but Commissioner Robert Adler takes over that job October 1 (PSL, 9/23/19) because Buerkle leaves later in the month.


In August (PSL, 8/26/19), eleven consumer advocacy and medical organizations jointly called on CPSC to step up enforcement against containers that lack flow restrictors. Earlier in the year (PSL, 2/25/19), the agency wrote makers and sellers of liquid nicotine containers about their child-resistant closure and certification duties related to the law.


Cantwell is ranking member of the Senate Commerce committee. In the spring (PSL, 4/15/19), she wrote CPSC asking for documents on a range of issues, mostly related to Britax strollers but more generally with compliance and investigation activities. In the summer (PSL, 7/29/19), she sought an investigation into incidents involving residential elevators and described in a Washington Post story.