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Lung Association Applauds New Law Prohibiting the Sale of Tobacco Products in Pharmacies in New York City Effective as of January 1st

(January 2, 2019) - NEW YORK

For more information please contact:

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

The American Lung Association offered praise for New York City as a new law prohibiting the sale of tobacco products including e-cigarettes in pharmacies went into effect on January 1, 2019.

“We know that reducing the amount of locations that sell tobacco products reduces the consumption, availability, and visibility of tobacco in our local communities,” said Michael Seilback, National Assistant Vice President for State Public Policy for American Lung Association. “It also means that those trying to quit do not have to purchase cessation aids sold right next to tobacco products.  It also means that youth will likely be exposed to much less tobacco marketing. Eliminating tobacco sales from all pharmacies is a boon for public health in New York City.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco-related disease still claims over 450,000 lives every single year in the United States. Smoking kills more than 28,000 New Yorkers per year and it costs the state over $10 billion in health care costs.

A recent Surgeon General’s report called tobacco use a “pediatric epidemic” – with close to 95 percent of smokers trying their first cigarette by the age of 21.

Seilback concluded, “Tobacco is the only legal product sold in America that, when used as directed, kills up to half of its long-term users. As a major link in the healthcare chain, pharmacies are simply the wrong place to sell tobacco products. We call on the New York State legislature to pass Tobacco-free Pharmacies this legislative session.” 

The law received support from the Pharmacist Society of NY, who previously passed a resolution supporting banning the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. Rockland County and Albany County had already passed local legislation on the issue, along with communities in California and Canada. The State of Massachusetts was the first state to have banned the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. Many pharmacies including CVS Health have already removed tobacco from their shelves.


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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