Yesterday, Gov. Kathy Hochul delivered her State of the State address and outlined some tobacco policy changes she would like enacted. Those changes include both a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco sales and a $1 per pack increase in cigarette taxes. It’s unclear whether the cigarette tax increase would also result in a higher tax on cigars. New York’s current tax rate of 75 percent of the wholesale price is already one of the highest cigar tax rates in the country.
What is clear is that Hochul, a Democrat, would like to ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products in New York. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, one of the most prominent anti-tobacco groups in the world, praised Hochul’s plans. Any of the aforementioned changes would first need to be passed by the New York Legislature.