Another big step forward for New Yorkers’ health
Beginning July 1, discounts on the sale of all tobacco products, such as coupons and multi-pack price promotions, are prohibited in New York State. The law was passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget. Research shows that higher tobacco prices are linked to lower smoking rates.1
“This new legislation will reduce the impact tobacco companies can have on disparate and low-income communities, and help address loopholes that have allowed tobacco products to get into the hands of youth” stated Dr. Indu Gupta, Onondaga County Commissioner of Health.
This new law limits the tobacco industry’s ability to circumvent New York State’s high taxes on tobacco products, which are proven to reduce smoking prevalence, especially among youth.1 The average age that teens first start smoking in New York State is 13 years old,2 and 90% of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18.3
This represents a major victory in combating Big Tobacco’s long history of discounts and other pricing schemes that target youth, minority communities, low-income communities and people trying to quit.4
This legislation is part of a number of tobacco control measures passed with 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. Other new laws took effect on May 18, 2020, including the end of all tobacco product sales in pharmacies and the end of flavored e-cigarette sales statewide. Each of these measures provides another important protection for youth and other residents across Central New York and New York State.
For help quitting smoking or vaping, including free nicotine replacement therapy for eligible residents, individuals can contact a health care provider, call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS or visit www.nysmokefree.com. Effective medications and counseling are covered by Medicaid and most insurance programs.
Tobacco-Free CNY and Reality Check student groups have worked with partners around the state to educate local communities about the need to protect children from the billions of dollars of tobacco marketing in places where kids can see it. The statewide “Seen Enough Tobacco” initiative is focused on putting an end to youth smoking and other tobacco use. Tobacco-Free CNY, including the Reality Check student youth groups, is part of the NYS Tobacco Control Program. For more information on Tobacco-Free CNY, visit our website at www.tobaccofreecny.org.
- Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Raising Cigarette Taxes Reduces Smoking, Especially Among Kids, June 2019, accessed June 2020. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0146.pdf
- Information about Tobacco Use, Smoking and Secondhand Smoke, https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/tobacco_control/index.htm
- A Report of the Surgeon General “The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress” 2014, p. 12, 696, 708: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK179276/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK179276.pdf
- Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center. Tobacco Retail Licensing: Promoting Health Through Local Sales Regulation, Oct. 2017, rev. Jan. and May 2020, accessed June 8, 2020. https://tobaccopolicycenter.org/documents/TobaccoRetailLicensing.pdf