Starting Monday, flavored e-cigarettes will no longer be authorized for sale across New York. All tobacco products will be also removed from pharmacies in the state, making it just the second in the U.S. to do so.
The new laws were included within New York’s fiscal year 2021 budget.
Tobacco Free New York State and Reality Check student groups around the state have worked to educate local communities about the need to protect children from aggressive tobacco marketing.
Local advocates say their passage is a huge step forward in helping residents live free from nicotine addiction, especially our youth.
Further research reveals the average age of a new smoker in New York to be just 13-years-old, with 90% of adult smokers reporting they first tried smoking by the age of 18.
According to the latest Cortland Area Communities That Care Youth Development Survey, an estimated 1 in 4 of all Cortland County high school students are vaping on a regular basis.
“Hopefully the banning of flavored electronic liquids will reduce the appeal for children, and alleviate some of the burden placed on school districts dealing with youth use and addiction,” said Homer High School Principal Douglas VanEtten.
“These pieces of legislation are a move in the right direction,” said Cortland City School District Resource Officer Robert Reyngoudt. “It’s also important to close any loopholes to prevent tobacco industry interference.”
The new restrictions take effect during an opportune time in the middle of a global pandemic involving a virus that primarily affects the respiratory system.
That was pointed out by Jennifer Hamilton with the Cortland County Health Department, who works as the Community Engagement Coordinator of the Tobacco Free Zone program.
“As we combat COVID-19, it’s never been more important to keep our lungs healthy,” said Hamilton. “These strong measures aid to reduce tobacco use and promote health, especially among our most vulnerable populations.”