New York’s proposed budget for 2024 has created some buzz with a large portion of the state’s funding going toward ‘Lead the Way for a Tobbaco-Free Generation.’ Governor Kathy Hochull is diving right into it.
Earlier this year at the January 10th State of the Senate Address, Governor Hochul announced a state-wide ban on flavored tobacco and vape products. Not only will this affect the accessibility of vapes, but now hookah will be considered contraband. The law is also targeting the availability of menthol cigarettes, which will disproportionately affect the portion of New Yorkers who prefer them.
The price per pack of cigarettes will increase by about $1. By increasing the tax and overall price of cigarettes, the desire is expected to dwindle. The tactic is projected to save more than 15000 New Yorkers.
“The state's previous removal of flavored vaping products from the market was an important first step. If implemented, it will drastically reduce tobacco use rates and weaken Big Tobacco’s continued efforts to addict our youth to their deadly products.” – Trevor Summerfield, Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association
On a cultural level, New Yorkers feel the ban on flavored tobacco is taking the situation too far. They’re calling it “unfair.”
“It’s harsh legislation, it’s unjust. It’s not equitable to say: ‘Stop smoking hookah but you can go smoke pot. I enjoy smoking hookah – I don’t abuse it – once in a while. It’s very enjoyable. It’s a cultural experience” – Assemblyman Nader Sayegh
“Small businesses in New York are at risk of being squeezed out by the proposed illegal tobacco regulations, which would only stimulate a larger underground market and encourage people to buy unregulated products.” – Youssef Mubarez, Yemeni American Merchants Association
“I’m glad Gov. Hochul is taking up the cause. This tobacco ban is on the NAACP’s legislative agenda.” Hazel Dukes, President of NAACP New York State
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