In 2019, New York continues to be a battleground for the tobacco industry. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has revealed that his 2019 executive budget will include legislation that will, in his opinion, help curb tobacco use among the state’s young population.
On Jan. 12, 2019, Cuomo revealed that he wants to raise the state’s minimum age to purchase tobacco and electronic cigarette products from 18 to 21. His legislation would also ban the sale of tobacco and electronic cigarette products in pharmacies, introduce restrictions for where those products can be displayed in retail stores that are not adult-only and would also require that only licensed retailers be able to sell e-cigarette products. Raising the minimum age to purchase these products from 18 to 21 is nothing new and is becoming a new trend on the local and state levels as governments attempt to tackle the growing popularity of vape and e-cigarette products and continue to minimize the use of traditional tobacco products.
Cuomo admitted that while New York has already made moves that have helped curb teen smoking, new products are undoing that progress and pose a threat to New York’s citizens. Cuomo wants clarity in regards to the health department’s authority to ban the sale of different flavored e-cigarette liquids, except menthol. Broader legislation has been proposed and suggested on the national level by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that puts limits and restrictions on flavored e-cigarette products and some legislation would be extended to include other tobacco products, including flavored cigars [read more here]. The FDA’s harder stance on e-cigarettes and teen use has paved the way for more action on the state and local level on these products as well.
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