Albany, NY | April 2, 2020
Today, the New York State Legislature passed a series of tobacco control policies. Specifically, the New York State budget provisions include:
- Prohibiting the sale of flavored e-cigarettes (except if they have received FDA Premarket Review authorization);
- Prohibiting the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies;
- Prohibiting the use of tobacco coupons and other discounting measures;
- Requiring disclosure of all ingredients in e-cigarettes, also requiring disclosure of research and investigations that have been performed about the products;
- Creation of a new vaping prevention awareness and control program for students, coordinated between the state Commissioner of Health and Commissioner of Education;
- Prohibiting the display of tobacco and e-cigarettes advertisements and paraphernalia in storefronts or windows within 1,500 feet of a school (500 feet in New York City);
- Authorizing the Health Commissioner to publish rules on the use of carrier oils in e-cigarettes;
- Prohibiting the delivery of e-cigarettes via USPS, UPS and FedEx effectively ending online sales;
- Increased fines for retail underage sales of tobacco products
- Including level funding for the New York State Tobacco Control Program
Michael Seilback, National Assistant Vice President, State Public Policy said “We applaud Governor Cuomo and the legislature for passing the tobacco control measures in the state budget. Perhaps now more than ever, we are all aware of the Lung Association’s adage, ‘If you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.’ Today’s measures will help restore New York’s role as a national leader in the fight against the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes. New York decisionmakers must move forward with prioritizing the elimination of the sale of all flavored tobacco products.”
The budget announcement comes as the State continues to manage the growing COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the importance of lung health for people of all ages. While more research into COVID-19 is needed, a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found people who smoke were 2.4 times more likely to have severe symptoms from COVID-19 compared to those who did not smoke. Earlier today, the American Lung Association renewed its call to quit smoking and vaping, with tips on how to move forward for people in quarantine.
Daniel Fitzgerald, MPH, ICPS, National Senior Manager of Advocacy, Tobacco-Free Pharmacy Campaign said “We celebrate New York State’s bold decision to pass a comprehensive tobacco-free pharmacy law; becoming the second state in the country to do so. The American Lung Association is very concerned that we are at risk of losing another generation to tobacco-caused disease. As trusted healthcare facilities, pharmacies are a place for customers to purchase products to get well. New Yorkers will no longer have to stand in front of a wall of tobacco-products while completing their purchases in pharmacies.” Tobacco-free pharmacy policies help de-normalize tobacco use and restrict access and availability. The American Lung Association encourages states to follow in New York’s footsteps and establish policies that will restrict tobacco sales in pharmacies as a way to reduce the impact tobacco has on all Americans.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. 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: Lung.org.
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