Thursday, 09 July 2020 13:32

New York State Ends Use of Tobacco Coupons

GLENS FALLS — Discounts on the sale of all tobacco products, such as coupons and multi-pack price promotions, will be prohibited in New York State as of July 1. The law was passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget.

Adirondack Health Institute’s Clear the Air in the Southern Adirondacks (CASA) program is encouraged by this latest development saying the new legislation is another significant step forward in combatting the marketing tactics employed by the tobacco industry to entice youth.

Research shows that higher tobacco prices are linked to lower smoking rates and 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. It is a significant 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. The average age that teens first start smoking in New York State is 13-years-old, and 90-percent of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18.

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. Several of the new laws took effect on May 18, including the end of all tobacco product sales in pharmacies and the end of flavored e-cigarette sales statewide. Nearly 40-percent of high school seniors in New York State use e-cigarettes, also referred to as “vaping,” and 27-percent of all high school youth vape.

Tobacco companies continue to aggressively market their products in stores across the state, using colorful walls of tobacco products and marketing materials that are highly appealing to teens. There is overwhelming evidence that the more young people see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking.6 More cigarettes are sold in convenience stores than in any other type of store, and 70% of adolescents shop in convenience stores at least once per week — where they are more likely to be exposed to pro-smoking messages.

For help quitting smoking or vaping, individuals can contact a health care provider, and call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS or visit www.nysmokefree.com.

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