NEW YORK - The New York City health department is moving forward with a plan that would require about 12,000 cigarette retailers to post large anti-smoking signs. It's billed as the first such regulation in the United States. The eye-level signs would have information about the harmful effects of smoking, possibly with an image. The assistant commissioner for tobacco control, Sarah B. Perl, says it can be effective to display gruesome health effects such as amputations and throat cancer. The city's Board of Health is now seeking public comment. At the earliest, it would vote in September. If the proposal is passed, the department says it's poised to fend off lawsuits.