American Lung Association and the Tobacco Action Coalitions of New York applaud new state laws taking effect July 1
Discounts on the sale of all tobacco products, such as coupons and multi-pack price promotions, are prohibited in New York State beginning July 1. The law was passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget.
“Starting today, a new state law restricts discounts on the sale of all tobacco products, like coupons and multi-pack price promotions. We know that higher tobacco prices are linked to lower smoking rates, so putting an end to the tobacco industry’s ability to circumvent New York’s high taxes on tobacco products is a win for public health statewide,” said Meghan DuBois O’Connor, director of POW’R Against Tobacco.
The surgeon general has called raising prices on cigarettes “one of the most effective tobacco control interventions” because increasing price is proven to reduce smoking, especially among kids. By prohibiting discounts, this new law limits the tobacco industry’s ability to evade New York State’s high taxes on tobacco products, which earned the state a B grade in the American Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco Control” Report 2020. The elimination of tobacco discounts is a significant victory in combating Big Tobacco’s long history of predatory marketing and pricing schemes that target youth, minority communities, low-income communities and people trying to quit.
“Tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States,” said Michael Seilback, the American Lung Association’s national assistant vice president for state public policy. “In New York State we can attribute 480,320 deaths to smoking annually – and the economic costs of smoking to New York State is $10.3 billion. We applaud Governor Cuomo and the state legislature for doing away with dangerous discounts that put money in the pockets of tobacco companies, while costing New Yorkers their lives.”
A number of tobacco control measures passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget, including a new law that stops the shipping and/or delivery of e-cigarettes and vape products to private residences beginning July 1, providing another important protection for youth. Earlier this year on May 18, the state ended the sale of all tobacco products in pharmacies as well as the sale of flavored e-cigarettes statewide. The average age that teens first start smoking in New York State is 13-years-old, and 90 percent of adult smokers first tried smoking by age 18. According to the New York State Youth Tobacco Survey, nearly 40 percent of high school seniors in New York State use e-cigarettes, and 27 percent of all high school youth vape.
“Thankfully our community partner, POW’R Against Tobacco, has come out strong against youth vaping,” said Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Putnam County Commissioner of Health. “Banning flavored vaping products and the newer restriction on eliminating online sales delivered to private residences are great steps to protect our youth. These new control policies are greatly needed and we look forward and are ready to start enforcing them.”