ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Beginning Wednesday, you’ll need to be 21 years of age or older in order to purchase tobacco products in New York State.
New York State is raising the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21-years-old. The law also applies to e-cigarette products.
“Typically high school kids are not 21-years-old so there’s less of that risk of kids being able to buy from another kid or having someone go into a store and buy cigarettes for them,” Elizabeth Hamlin, American Lung Association Spokesperson
Earlier this month the Governor said in a statement:
We are taking aggressive action to make sure the decades of progress we’ve made to combat tobacco addiction is not undone by a sharp rise in e-cigarette use among younger New Yorkers.
According to the Governor’s office, “about 28,000 adult New Yorkers” die annually due to smoking. Some say the new law doesn’t allow some adults to make their own choices.
“As an adult, you have the right to vote. You are deciding on important things in your life, one of the decisions… whether or not you’re going to join the Military, or serve in our nation’s Armed Forces,” Angelo Santabarbara, NYS Assemblymember, said. “I decided to do that and I think along those lines you can also make a decision of whether or not you’re going to use tobacco products.
He says instead, there should be more of a focus on educational efforts.
The floor vote on the legislation was 120 to 26 in the Assembly and 52 to 9 in the Senate.