The New York Assembly has approved a bill that would raise the age for smoking and vaping to 21.
The bill will now head to the Senate for approval. If passed there, and signed into law by Governor Cuomo, it will raise the age for someone to buy tobacco products or electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21.
Lawmakers hope the age increase would limit the availability of cigarettes and e-cigarettes among minors.
The age to purchase cigarettes in Onondaga and Tompkins County is already 21.
In a statement, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “Smoking cigarettes and e-cigarettes is a dangerous and addictive habit that too often begins in high school or earlier. By raising the purchasing age to 21, we can remove tobacco and other addictive products from our schools and improve health outcomes by stopping smoking before it starts.”
In a statement, Governor Cuomo agreed: “The lifelong health effects and human misery caused by tobacco use cannot be understated and New York needs to do everything in its power to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our young people. That’s why I made raising the age of tobacco sales to 21 one of the first proposals of my Justice Agenda and I applaud the Assembly and particularly Assembly Member Rosenthal for taking action on this very important issue today. I urge the Senate to follow suit and help make this a stronger and healthier New York for all.”