Send to

Choose Destination
J Pediatr Nurs. 2016 Jul-Aug;31(4):373-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2016.03.019. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

Electronic Cigarette Refill Liquids: Child-Resistant Packaging, Nicotine Content, and Sales to Minors.

Author information

School of Nursing, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. Electronic address:
School of Pharmacy, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.


To determine the accuracy of the labeled quantity of the nicotine content of the e-liquids sold in unlicensed vape stores, whether the packaging of e-liquids sold within the vape stores was child-resistant, whether minors were present within vape stores, and whether sales to minors occurred. This study was conducted across North Dakota prior to implementation of a new e-cigarette state law and provided a baseline assessment before enactment of the new legal requirements.


We tested samples of e-liquids and performed observations in 16 stores that were selling e-cigarettes but were not legally required to be licensed for tobacco retail. The e-liquids were analyzed for nicotine content using a validated high-performance liquid chromatography method for nicotine analysis.


Of the 70 collected e-liquid samples that claimed to contain nicotine, 17% contained more than the labeled quantity and 34% contained less than the labeled quantity by 10% or more, with one sample containing 172% more than the labeled quantity. Of the 94 e-liquid containers sampled, only 35% were determined to be child-resistant. Minors were present in stores, although no sales to minors occurred.


Mislabeling of nicotine in e-liquids is common and exposes the user to the harmful effects of nicotine. The lack of child-resistant packaging for this potentially toxic substance is a serious public health problem. E-cigarettes should be included in the legal definition of tobacco products, child-resistant packaging and nicotine labeling laws should be enacted and strictly enforced, and vape stores should be licensed by states.


Child safety; E-cigarette; Nicotine; Product packaging; Public policy; Regulation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center