New York’s smoking age went up this month

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Adults under 21 won’t be able to buy vape pods or a pack of smokes in New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office reminded in early November, reports NBC. The state’s minimum age to buy tobacco and e-cigarette products was raised from 18 to 21 on 13 November.

The measure was passed into law earlier this year.

“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,” Cuomo said.

According to the Department of Health data released by Cuomo’s office, 40% of 12th grade students and 27% of high school students in New York state use e-cigarettes. Even though the smoking rate in New York’s high school dropped to a record low of 4.3% in 2016, Cuomo’s office said aggressive marketing promoting flavoured e-cigarettes began to shift the use of these products.

Retailers found selling tobacco and vaping products to underaged individuals will now face criminal penalties in addition to civil penalties.

Full report on NBC New York

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