State lawmakers look to tighten liquid nicotine safety regulations

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York State lawmakers are making a push to tighten safety regulations on liquid nicotine products.

As the e-cigarette industry continues to rapidly grow, the state of New York has yet to require child safety locks on liquid nicotine products. However, earlier in 2014, lawmakers in both the assembly and senate passed a bill that would require child resistant containers on liquid nicotine.

“Liquid nicotine – it’s a drug,” Assemblyman and pharmacist John McDonald said. “It’s like liquid Tylenol. It’s like liquid Advil.”

A one year old in Fort Plain died on Tuesday after accidently ingesting liquid nicotine.

“Why did this happen, and what can we do to prevent it?” McDonald asked.

McDonald has been pushing for tighter regulations of the e-cigarette industry, including outlawing sales to minors and requiring child safety locks on liquid nicotine. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday night he would be signing the bill.

“We need to be cognizant of those who might be the unintended consequences,” McDonald said.

McDonald hopes to protect the children.

“They look exactly like candy,” he said. “They have a ‘cotton candy’ name or ‘whipped topping’ name.”

They look appealing, and for some, the local business has been taking off.

“The business has been booming,” Michael Wright said.

At Albany’s 51 Vape, the soon-to-be regulations are already self-imposed.

“You got to have your ID ready before you come through the door,” Wright said.

No one under 18 years of age is allowed in.

“Most of our liquids come in child safe bottles,” Wright said. “If they don’t, most of the companies are moving towards the child safe bottles.”

51 Vape also does not sell the concentrated nicotine that some use to mix their own solution.

“We don’t do any of that because it’s dangerous,” Wright said. “We don’t want anything to happen.”

McDonald said that danger is very real.

“It has drug-like behaviors,” he explained. “It can slow your breathing. It can slow your heart.”

Cuomo’s office couldn’t say when he would sign the bill, but it would likely happen before the end of the year.

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