Discounts on the sale of all tobacco products, such as coupons and multi-pack price promotions, are prohibited in New York State beginning July 1. The law was passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget.
“We know that higher tobacco prices are linked to lower smoking rates. Putting an end to the tobacco industry’s ability to circumvent New York’s high taxes on tobacco products is a win for public health statewide,” said Joseph Potter, director at the Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes.
The Surgeon General has called raising prices on cigarettes “one of the most effective tobacco control interventions” because increasing price is proven to reduce smoking, especially among kids. By prohibiting discounts, this new law limits the tobacco industry’s ability to evade New York State’s high taxes on tobacco products, which earned the state a B grade in the American Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco Control” Report 2020, The elimination of tobacco discounts is a significant victory in combating Big Tobacco’s long history of predatory marketing and pricing schemes that target youth, minority communities, low-income communities and people trying to quit.
“Tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States,” said Michael Seilback, the American Lung Association’s national assistant vice president for state public policy.
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.
Earlier this year on May 18, the state ended the sale of all tobacco products in pharmacies as well as the sale of flavored e-cigarettes statewide.
The average age that teens first start smoking in New York State is 13 years old, 3 and 90% of adult smokers first tried smoking by age 18.4 According to the New York State Youth Tobacco Survey, nearly 40% of high school seniors in New York State use e-cigarettes, and 27% of all high school youth vape.5
Support available for New Yorkers who want to quit
For help quitting smoking or vaping, including free nicotine replacement therapy for eligible residents, individuals can contact a health care provider, and call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NYQUITS or visit www.nysmokefree. com. Effective medications and counseling are covered by Medicaid and most insurance programs.