Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for a statewide increase in the minimum age to purchase tobacco and tobacco alternative products, including a proposal to make the minimum age 21-years-old in his executive budget proposal.
“We have made great strides to stamp out teen smoking, but new products threaten to undo this progress to the detriment of millions of Americans,” Cuomo said in a statement. “In New York, we refuse to stand idly by while unscrupulous businesses target our young people and put their very futures at risk,” he added.
In addition to the age increase, the governor is calling for several other restrictions to be placed on the sale to tobacco in the state. Specifically, Gov. Cuomo is proposing:
- banning the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes in pharmacies,
- banning the display of tobacco products and packaging, including e-cigarettes, in all retail stores that are not restricted to adults,
- clarifying the Health Department’s authority to ban the sale of certain flavored e-cigarette liquids,
- restricting available discounts provided by tobacco and electronic cigarette manufacturers and retailers, such as “buy one, get one free” offers,
- requiring that e-cigarettes be sold only through licensed retailers
“With this comprehensive proposal, we are taking aggressive action to combat this very real public health crisis and curb the use of nicotine products before they result in deadly consequences for an entire generation of New Yorkers,” said Cuomo.
New York City increased the age to purchase tobacco products in 2014, and several other cities and counties in the state have passed similar increases. Six other states have passed statewide increases in the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old: Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine.
Featured image via Gov. Cuomo’s Flickr.