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New law has life-saving potential

July 23, 2019 05:15 am

To the editor:

I am writing to thank Governor Cuomo for raising the age of sale of all tobacco products — including electronic cigarettes — from 18 to 21 throughout the state. This is truly a milestone to celebrate as we work towards educating decisionmakers, reducing youth tobacco use, and improving the health and wellness of younger generations.

We also must thank our local leadership including Senator Daphne Jordan for her willingness to listen and be educated on the dangers of youth tobacco use and ultimately voting for the bill.

Make no mistake, this law has life-saving potential. We already know that adolescents and young adults are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of nicotine and nicotine addiction, and with the rise of easily concealable and fruit and candy flavored tobacco products, Tobacco 21 has never been more important. Today, thanks to this law, New Yorkers are better suited to protect children from the dangers of tobacco addiction, reduce smoking rates, save on healthcare costs, and prevent tobacco related death and disease among some of our most vulnerable residents.

We are eager to celebrate the enactment of this law in November, and look forward to continuing to educate decisionmakers on the tobacco epidemic, while seeing our young people reap the rewards.

Elizabeth Hamlin-Berninger

Director of Advocacy

American Lung Association in New York