Cuomo proposal would ban sales to those under 21, take products out of pharmacies
Cuomo proposing to raise minimum sales age for tobacco in executive budget.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Saturday he is proposing to raise the minimum sales age for tobacco and electronic cigarette products from 18 to 21 in his 2019 executive budget.
It is part of proposed legislation that also would end the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products in pharmacies and clarifies the state Health Department’s authority to ban the sale of certain flavored e-cigarette liquids.
Cuomo’s proposal includes:
Raising minimum sales age. “Most underage youth obtain tobacco and vapor products from friends, who are over 18 and can legally purchase products. Raising the minimum age will curb youth tobacco use and remove sources of tobacco from high schools.”
Ending the sale of tobacco and electronic cigarette products in pharmacies. “(It) will reduce the availability, visibility, and social acceptability of tobacco use, especially to youth.”
Prohibit the display of tobacco products and packaging, including ecigarettes, in all retail stores that are not adult-only.
Clarifying the Health Department’s authority to ban the sale of certain flavored e-cigarette liquids. “Flavors, such as sweet tart, toffee, and bubble gum, make e-cigarettes more attractive to youth. The budget will include a proposal to provide the Department of Health the authority to ban the sale of certain flavored liquids that target youth use of e-cigarettes.”
Restricting available discounts provided by tobacco and electronic cigarette manufacturers and retailers and require e-cigarettes be sold only through licensed retailers.
Within an hour of the announcement, the American Lung Association expressed its support in an emailed statement.
“Smoking kills more than 28,000
New Yorkers per year and costs the state of $10 billion annually. Additionally, the use of e-cigarettes by our youth is an epidemic that demands bold action,” said the association’s Michael Seilback, national assistant vice president of state public policy.
But Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group, cited two studies to contend that raising the smoking age won’t have impact on teen smoking. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 90 percent of smokers start before the age of 18.
An American Public Health Association study of New York City’s 2014 measure raising the minimum age “did not accelerate reductions in youth tobacco use any more rapidly than declines observed in comparison sites.”
Gov. Cuomo’s proposal would ban tobacco sales in pharmacies.