Governor Cuomo yesterday (July 16) signed into law an increase of the minimum sales age for tobacco and e-cigarettes in New York from 18 to 21.
New York now becomes the 17th state to employ that law, which will officially take effect statewide in four months.
The legal age to buy tobacco products in Cortland County has been 21 since 2016.
About 28,000 adult New Yorkers die every year as a result of smoking. Additionally, an increasing number of underage youth are using both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
From 2014 to 2018 youth use of e-cigarettes increased by 160 percent from 10.5 percent to 27.4 percent and more than half of teens falsely believe that e-cigarette use is harmless.
According to the Surgeon General, 88% of adult smokers started using tobacco before age 18 and 90% of the people who purchase cigarettes for minors are between the ages of 18 and 20.
“New York is taking aggressive action to stamp out smoking among teens and children, but tobacco and e-cigarette use still persists thanks to irresponsible corporate marketing campaigns targeting young people.
By raising the smoking age from 18 to 21, we can stop cigarettes and e-cigarettes from getting into the hands of young people in the first place and prevent an entire generation of New Yorkers from forming costly and potentially deadly addictions.”