Gov. Cuomo’s call for ending the sale of flavored e-cigarettes doesn’t go far enough, according to the American Heart Association.
“We need to protect the health of all New Yorkers by prohibiting the sale of all flavors in all tobacco products,” said Caitlin O’Brien, J.D., New York State Director of Government Affairs for the American Heart Association, in response to today’s Budget Address by the Governor. “Big Tobacco has long targeted African American communities with menthol and mint cigarettes, and Big Vape is using the same playbook by using flavors to hook kids. If the sale of menthol and mint in combustible tobacco products are not included with flavored e-cigarettes, we haven’t done right by all New Yorkers.”
The American Heart Association also called on the governor to keep budgets affecting public health on separate lines, and fully funded.
“In today’s budget address, Gov. Cuomo talked about lifting people, especially children, out of poverty,” O’Brien said. “Investing in prevention programs is an investment in children and saves money for families and on Medicaid spending in the future. It’s critical that funding for public health programs remain on separate budget lines and be increased.”
The American Heart Association is also advocating for a school wellness policy.
“The governor talked about creating equity in educational opportunities in the budget address. If there is a statewide model school wellness policy and adequate funding, we can create health equity among schoolchildren, laying the basis for long and healthy lives for all of New York’s children,” O’Brien said.
The American Heart Association will be working to improve the health of all New Yorkers with the following legislative initiatives in the coming legislative session:
- The elimination of the sale of all flavored tobacco products in the state. S6809 Hoylman/ A8808 Bichotte; S428-B Hoylman/ A47-A Rosenthal.
- The creation of a School Wellness Policy and a $21 million appropriation for school wellness.
- Ensuring that funding for public health programs aimed at prevention remain in separate budget lines and are fully funded.