Governor Cuomo recently announced a proposal to raise the minimum age for tobacco and e-cigarettes sales from 18 to 21 across the state of New York. There are a few counties in the state that as of January 1, 2019 have already put this law into place. The proposal will be tied into the 2019 budget and will also (from the press release) include the following items, in addition to raising the age minimum:

  • Ending the sale of tobacco and electronic cigarette products in pharmacies. The theory is that by selling these products in a pharmacy there is an implication that these products are 'safe' to the consumers health.
  • Implements display restrictions: New York will prohibit the display of tobacco products and packaging, including e-cigarettes, in all retail stores that are not adult-only. By limiting kids exposure to the advertising, it is believed that kids will not consider these products something that everyone uses.
  • Clarifies the Health Department's Authority to ban the sale of certain flavored e-cigarette liquids. Flavored cigarettes were banned by the FDA in 2009, with the exception of menthol. By removing the flavored ones e-liquids, like caramel, jelly bean and banana muffin, it is believed that the appeal will no longer be there.
  • Restricting available discounts provided by tobacco and electronic cigarette manufacturers and retailers. New York wants to eliminate the Buy One Get One offers or coupons on these items to keep them at a premium price.
  • Require e-cigarettes be sold only through licensed retailers. By making a retailer go through a licensing process it will make sure that retailers are trained to sell only approved products to those who are 21 years of age or older.

What do you think? Is this another instance of Albany just trying to get into our business and get more tax money? Or is this a good thing for everyone's health? Weigh in below in the comment section.

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