Flavored e-cigs banned

AMSTERDAM — The sale of flavored e-cigarettes ended in New York state on Monday, as did the sale of all tobacco products in pharmacies.

The new laws were passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget. New York becomes the second state in the nation to restrict the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies.

“On May 18, the sale of flavored c-cigarettes and the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies end in New York state”, said Tricia Terleckey, community engagement coordinator of Advancing Tobacco Free Communities of Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery Counties. “These are huge steps toward helping New Yorkers live free from nicotine addiction, which is particularly important in Fulton County, where the adult smoking rate is 19.1 percent, considerably higher than the New York state rate of 12.8 percent.

Research shows that the flavors in e-cigarettes attract kids and the nicotine addicts them. 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. This new law ending the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in New York state will protect kids from a lifetime of nicotine addiction.

Support available

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 New York State and Reality Check student groups around the state have worked 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. The average age of a new smoker in New York is 13-years-old, and 90 percent of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18. Tobacco Free New York State, including the Reality Check student youth groups, is part of the state Tobacco Control Program.

ATFC is part of a network of statewide contractors funded by the state Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Program, working to change the community environment to support New York state’s tobacco-free norm. Reality Check is the youth component of Advancing Tobacco Free Communities. Reality Check empowers youth to become leaders in their communities by exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The organization’s members produce change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education.

For more information, visit tobaccofreehfm.org. Locally the grant is held by Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery. Since 1976 Catholic Charities has served area residents by providing services such as substance abuse prevention, food pantry, domestic violence advocacy and dispute mediation.


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