A Nassau County legislator wants to make retailers post warning signs on the dangers of liquid nicotine, mirroring a just-enacted law in Suffolk.
Legis. Judith Jacobs (D-Woodbury) filed her bill Wednesday, days after Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed a notification bill into law.
Like in Suffolk, Nassau's measure would require conspicuous signage near the cash registers of all stores that sell liquid nicotine. The signs would say that the substance can be addictive, poisonous and even fatal.
Liquid nicotine, which is converted to vapor and inhaled from electronic cigarettes, is sold in flavors and packaging that appeal to young users.
"This product is not regulated, so the amount or strength of nicotine in any container is uncertain," the warning would partially read. Then, in all capital letters, "Keep out of children's reach . . . ingestion of liquid nicotine may be fatal."
Nassau's legislative Republicans, who have a 12-7 majority, must decide whether to place the bill on an upcoming meeting agenda for consideration.
Jacobs said the signage requirement could be enforced by the county health department during regular duties at no increased cost to the county. Retailers could print the signs off the county website. Violators would have to pay a fine of up to $250 for a first violation, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 thereafter.
"It should be a no-brainer," Jacobs said yesterday. "It doesn't require a deep thought process just to warn someone that there are some dangers."
Last year, the GOP declined to allow debate on Jacobs' bill to ban the sale of tobacco products to people under 21, as Suffolk and New York City do.
Matt Fernando, a spokesman for Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), said yesterday that the GOP majority was still reviewing Jacobs' liquid nicotine bill.
Suffolk legislators approved their notification bill by a 13-4 vote this month. The Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association opposed the measure. The group also opposed Suffolk's increase of the age to purchase tobacco products from 19 to 21.
"The problem is, they're asking retailers to be the bad-choice police. But my guys are just trying to stay in business," Michael Watt, association executive director, said yesterday.