Could better packaging have saved the life of an 18-month-old boy?

Posted: July 1, 2015 by
Linda Casey

In a recent New York Times article, business journalist Dionne Searcey reports the New York attorney general faulted four liquid nicotine retailers for improper packaging. The crackdown, Searcey writes, came “a year after the state passed a law requiring retailers of liquid nicotine to better secure the substance, which was blamed in the death of an 18-month-old boy in New York last year.”

The New York Times' article, which can be viewed on the publication’s website, focused on child-resistant closures. The unfortunate incident that prompted the attorney general’s action plays into the larger debate on overall design of products from liquor, cigarettes, liquid nicotine and the emerging legal cannabis trade.

While the debate over cigarette packaging in Australia or cannabis packaging in the U.S. has primarily been a consumer-societal discussion, it also represents an opportunity for design to  positively affect society, protect the public's health, and show business the value of design--even beyond securing marketshare or sales lift. As designers and marketers take on the challenge of creating packaging for these products that enhance their proper enjoyment and safeguards the general public's health, let's share our best work as examples of design's importance in business, society and in every person's everday life. You can start here in our online community by becoming a contributing author, and let's keep the conversation going online, in person and beyond.