Governor Cuomo Announces Legislation to Prevent Liquid Nicotine Sales to Minors and Require Childproof Containers

Found in E-Cigarettes, Liquid Nicotine Is Particularly Toxic If Ingested - From 2010-2014, Reported Cases Have Risen from One Per Month to 215 Across the Country.

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Albany, NY - December 30th, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced legislation prohibiting the sale of liquid nicotine to minors and requiring childproof containers to protect against accidental poisoning.

"This action will help combat nicotine addiction by keeping it out of the hands of minors, as well as prevent a heartbreaking accident that can occur if a child is exposed to this potentially dangerous substance,” Governor Cuomo said. "I am proud to sign this legislation into law and thank the sponsors their work on this much-needed initiative.”

Liquid nicotine, often known as electronic liquid or e-liquid, is a composite of nicotine and other chemicals. Concentrated liquid nicotine is highly toxic, even in small doses, and if ingested, liquid nicotine may cause tremors, vomiting, seizures, and potentially, death. For infants and children, ingesting liquid nicotine is likely particularly lethal. According to a 2014 Centers for Disease Control Report, the number of calls to poison control centers involving liquid nicotine rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014. More than half of the calls (51.1%) involved children under age 5.

Liquid nicotine is readily available and sold for use in electronic cigarettes. Although New York banned the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors in 2010, the law did not expressly prohibit the sale of liquid nicotine to minors or set packaging requirements.

This bill (S.7027-C/A.9299-D) will:

  • Prohibit the sale of liquid nicotine to minors: This limitation applies to those under the age of 21 in New York City, and under 18 throughout the rest of the State. Businesses selling liquid nicotine are required to have specific signage indicating that the sale of this product to minors is strictly prohibited.
  • Require childproof packaging for sales: This prohibits any business owner from selling liquid nicotine unless it is packaged in a child-resistant bottle designed to prevent accidental exposure. Violators are subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said, “Exposure to even small amounts of liquid nicotine can be deadly for young children. The accidental death of the one-year-old boy from Fort Plain, NY as a result of liquid nicotine poisoning, the first of its kind in the nation, makes clear the need for this kind of common-sense legislation. It is my hope that this law will help to prevent another tragedy like this from occurring, and I am pleased that Governor Cuomo signed my bill into law.”

Photo by Vince Petaccio, via Free Images.