TRENTON, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Nancy Pinkin and Shavonda Sumter to ensure liquid nicotine doesn’t get into the hands of children was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

“Most bottles of liquid nicotine state right on the label that it can be poisonous if ingested,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex).  “Like so many other dangerous products on the market that require child-proofing, this should be one of them as well, especially given the fact that liquid nicotine comes in a variety of flavors that might smell enticing to an unsuspecting child.”

Specifically, the bill (A-4098) prohibits the sale and distribution of liquid nicotine unless the liquid nicotine is sold, offered for sale, given, furnished, or distributed in a child-resistant container which is designed and constructed so that it is significantly difficult for a child five years of age or younger to open the package or otherwise risk exposure to liquid nicotine. 

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“The last thing we want is for a child to be able to get a hold of a bottle of liquid nicotine that could prove poisonous or fatal,” said Sumter (D-Bergen/Passaic).  “Given the explosion in popularity of electronic smoking devices, this is a necessary precaution that should be taken.”

The bill defines “liquid nicotine” to mean any solution containing nicotine which is designed or sold for use with an electronic smoking device.

Violations of the bill would be punishable by a civil penalty of not less than $250 for the first violation, not less than $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent violation. 

Additionally, upon the recommendation of the municipality, following a hearing by the municipality, the state Division of Taxation may suspend or, after a second or subsequent violation, revoke the license of a retail dealer.  The licensee would also be subject to administrative charges, based on a schedule issued by the Director of the Division of Taxation, which may provide for a monetary penalty in lieu of a suspension.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.