New York now prohibits sale of tobacco products in state builings

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Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 2:09 PM EDT
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ALBANY, NY (WBNG) -- Governor Kathy Hohcul signed public health legislation Friday that cracks down on tobacco sales in New York State.

The legislation seeks to make tobacco products less accessible by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products at vending machines and in New York State buildings. Hochul’s office said the prohibition will apply to new leases and contracts with vendors. It will make the public buildings law consistent with other state laws and policies regarding the sale of tobacco.

“For decades, tobacco companies have hooked generations of New Yorkers on nicotine,” Governor Hochul said in a news release. “We’re cracking down on Big Tobacco by banning the sale of their harmful products in New York State buildings. Protecting public health is a top priority for me, and I will continue to discourage the sale and use of these dangerous, addictive products in New York.”

According to the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the country. More than 480,000 people die from smoking every year.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Bichotte Hermelyn (D, 42).

In August, New York became the state with the highest tax on cigarettes. The state saw a $1 increase in the tax. Now, the tax is $5.35 per pack of 20 cigarettes. It was the first tax increase on the product since 2010.

The American Cancer Society Action Network said, that because of this increase, 15,300 New Yorker’s lives will be saved because of the tax increase and it will prevent teens from smoking.