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June 25, 2019

Cuomo rolls out plan to set 21 as the minimum age for tobacco and e-cigarette sales

January 12, 2019
Gov. Cuomo announced Saturday that his 2019 executive budget will propose raising the minimum age for e-cigarette buyers from 18 to 21. The new restriction would apply to tobacco purchases as well. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for New York Daily News / Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images)

Where there’s e-smoke, there’s fire.

Gov. Cuomo announced Saturday that his 2019 executive budget will propose raising the minimum age for e-cigarette buyers from 18 to 21, a new restriction that would apply to tobacco purchases as well.

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“We have made great strides to stamp out teen smoking, but new products threaten to undo this progress to the detriment of millions of Americans,” said Cuomo. “In New York, we refuse to stand idly by while unscrupulous businesses target our young people and put their very futures at risk.”

The age change is one of several anti-smoking proposals expected when the governor rolls out his executive budget — including a Health Department ban on certain flavored e-cigarette liquids that tend to entice younger smokers.

Among the other proposals are ending the sale of e-cigarette and tobacco products in pharmacies; prohibiting advertising of both products in retail stores where kids are permitted; restricting current discounts, including “buy one, get one free” offers; and limiting e-cigarette sales to licensed retailers only.

The Cuomo plan was quickly hailed by the American Lung Association.

“The governor’s thoughtful legislative proposal will save lives, protect countless young people and save the state in healthcare costs,” said Michael Seilback, National Assistant Vice President of State Public Policy for American Lung Association.

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