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Tobacco 21 Passes in NYS Assembly; American Lung Association Urges Swift Passage in Senate To Protect New York Youth

(March 6, 2019) - ALBANY, N.Y.

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Solomon[email protected]
(516) 680-8927

The American Lung Association today applauded and thanked the New York State Assembly for passing legislation to raise the age of sale of all tobacco products from 18 to 21. 

Elizabeth Hamlin-Berninger, Director of Advocacy in New York for the American Lung Association said: 
“Tobacco is a highly addictive product, and close to 95 percent of smokers try their first cigarette by the age of 21. With youth e-cigarette use already at epidemic levels, raising the age of sale to 21 would be a significant victory for public health and in the interest of protecting our young people from a dangerous and lifelong addiction.

Over 28% of New York high school students reported using tobacco products in 2017 and the use of e-cigarettes by our youth is an epidemic that demands bold action. With adolescents and young adults proving to be uniquely vulnerable to the effects of nicotine and nicotine addiction, we must not delay this important, life-saving legislation any longer. In fact, the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) found increasing the minimum age of sale for all tobacco products to 21 could prevent 223,000 deaths among people born between 2000 and 2019, including 50,000 fewer dying from lung cancer – the nation’s leading cancer killer. Some of those children are New York’s children – and this legislation might just save their lives by stopping them from using tobacco before they start.”

Thanks to Assemblymember Rosenthal and to the Assembly for taking this vital first step - and we implore the Senate to follow suit swiftly”


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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