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, according to the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition.
The law was passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget.
Research shows that higher tobacco prices are linked to lower smoking rates, experts contend. This new law limits the tobacco industry’s ability to circumvent New York state’s high taxes on tobacco products, which are proven to reduce smoking prevalence, especially among youth.
"This law combats the tobacco industry’s long history of discounts and other pricing schemes that target youth, minority communities, low-income communities and people trying to quit," said Sarah Robbins, program director of the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition.
The average age that teens first start smoking in New York State is 13 years old, and 90 percent of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18, the coalition said.
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.
Several of the new laws took effect on May 18, 2020, including the end of all tobacco product sales in pharmacies and the end of flavored e-cigarette sales statewide.
According to state data, nearly 40 percent of high school seniors in New York state use e-cigarettes, also referred to as "vaping," and 27 percent of all high school youth vape.
Tobacco companies continue to aggressively market their products in stores across the state, using colorful walls of tobacco products and marketing materials that are highly appealing to teens. There is overwhelming evidence that the more young people see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking.
According to statistics, more cigarettes are sold in convenience stores than in any other type of store, and 70 percent of adolescents shop in convenience stores at least once a week — where they are more likely to be exposed to pro-smoking messages.
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-NY-QUITS or visit www.nysmokefree.com. Effective medications and counseling are covered by Medicaid and most insurance programs.