New York State Senate Passes Tobacco 21–Clears Way for Governor to Sign

Great news from the NYS Capitol! Senate’s passage of Tobacco 21 means a better future for New York’s youth!

The American Heart Association applauds the New York state Senate for its passage of Tobacco 21 (S2833/ A558-A) by a vote of 52 to 8 today. Tobacco 21 raises the legal sales age for tobacco products to 21.

“Nearly 30 % of all New York high school students smoke, and smoking is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” said Caitlin O’Brien, the American Heart Association’s government relations director for New York state.  “A 2015 study from the Institute of Medicine shows that we can reduce the smoking rate by 12% by preventing young adults from picking up their first cigarette. It also makes it harder for high school students to purchase tobacco products and pass them on to younger friends. We applaud the Senate for taking this positive step to improving the health of new York’s youth.”

The measure now goes to Gov. Cuomo for his signature.

Tobacco 21 is part of an American Heart Association presidential advisory to achieve a “tobacco endgame.” The Association’s ultimate goal is to end all tobacco and nicotine addiction in the U.S. The Association aims to minimize the use of all combustible tobacco products, such as traditional cigarettes and cigars, and ensure e-cigarettes and other newer product do not addict a new generation to nicotine. The glide path to the end game is to reduce all tobacco use prevalence to 5% or less.

“We are glad that the New York Assembly and Senate have approved Tobacco 21, and the governor committed to Tobacco 21 in his budget address. We hope that he will quickly sign this life-saving measure,” O’Brien said.

“We will also continue our efforts to remove all flavored e-cigarettes, which target youth, from the marketplace,” O’Brien added. “E-cigarettes contain nicotine and are too often a path to the use of combustible tobacco. New York

has been a leader in reducing combustible tobacco product usage, and we hope the Empire State will also be a leader in protecting its citizens, especially youth, from these dangerous products.”

Related: Putnam Becomes 6th Hudson Valley County to Pass Tobacco 21 Law

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