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New NY law requires childproof packaging for liquid nicotine

The measure follows the nicotine-poisoning death of a toddler

Liquid nicotine sold in New York must be packaged in childproof containers under terms of a new law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday. The measure also bans the sale of liquid nicotine to those under 21 in New York City and under 18 in the rest of the state.

New York banned the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors in 2010, but did not explicitly ban the sale of the liquid nicotine, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“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,” Cuomo said. “I am proud to sign this legislation into law and thank the sponsors for their work on this much-needed initiative.”

The measure follows the death of a one-year-old Fort Plain, N.Y., toddler who died after swallowing liquid nicotine.

Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), who sponsored the bill, cited the boy’s death as a reason why the law was needed.

“The accidental death of the one-year-old boy from Fort Plain, N.Y. 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,” Rosenthal said in a statement.

Highly toxic

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 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.

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