MOUNT SINAI, N.Y. – On Thursday, December 20th, Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker joined Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Department of Health Services Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk County Police Department Commissioner Geraldine Hart, and Suffolk County Police Department Chief Stuart Cameron at the bill signing of a local law to increase the fine from $1000 to $2000 for retailers who illegally sell liquid nicotine and e-cigarette products to young people under 21-years-old. The bill signing was held in the Heritage Center of the North Shore Heritage Park in Mount Sinai.
“Smoking liquid nicotine through an electronic cigarette or other device can be harmful to your health, and with the intense marketing of the product, young people are enticed to try it without being aware of the risks,” said Legislator Anker. “The use of e-cigarettes has become rampant among teens and preteens, causing them to become addicted to nicotine at an early age. Not only can it be deadly, but the cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde has also been found in this product. The increased fines for retailers who sell to those who are underage is another way in which Suffolk County can continue to protect our children.”
Suffolk County was one of the first municipalities in the United States to address the issue of e-cigarette use by children and teens by prohibiting their sale to minors and promoting educational resources to teach residents about the harmful effects and consequences of liquid nicotine use.
In 2014, Legislator Anker sponsored legislation to require Suffolk County businesses selling liquid nicotine to display a “Dangers of Liquid Nicotine” warning sign. After hearing from a number of concerned parents and teachers that were aware of the high use of liquid nicotine in our schools, and following the death of a one-year-old child who digested the product, Legislator Anker moved to require this warning sign to educate the public and help prevent further fatalities. Earlier this year, she sponsored legislation to create a “Dangers of Liquid Nicotine” Poster Contest educational campaign to encourage students to learn more about the harmful drug and use their talents and creativity skills to make a public service announcement. The winning poster is now featured on the cover of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ 2019 “Dangers of Liquid Nicotine” brochure which will be disseminated countywide.
“I would like to thank my colleagues in the Legislature and Suffolk County for their support of these initiatives and for all the work they do to help keep our children safe,” said Legislator Anker.
For more information please call Legislator Anker’s office at 631-854-1600.