American Heart Association Praises Governor Cuomo’s support of tobacco legislation

The American Heart Association praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement today that the 2019 proposed Executive Budget will include measures to raise the minimum legal sales age of tobacco products to 21; proposes banning tobacco sales in pharmacies; and proposes banning flavored e-cigarettes.

“We have been pushing for Tobacco 21 legislation for years,” said Caitlin O’Brien, New York state government relations director for the American Heart Association. “If people under 21 can’t purchase tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, it will really drive down youth use rates by eliminating kid’s source of tobacco — their older friends. If people don’t use any tobacco products before the age of 21, their chances of doing so plummets to only 2%.

“Similarly,” O’Brien said, “banning flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, will curb the sky-high rates of e-cigarette use among youth. Flavors like Swedish Fish and mango help create the illusion that these products aren’t harmful, which is far from the truth. These products contain dangerous and addictive substances that do no good to anyone, and often contain the same amount, if not more, nicotine than a pack of cigarettes. With tobacco use remaining the leading preventable cause of heart disease and stroke, these tobacco control measures are a critical investment in public health.  We’re so glad that Gov. Cuomo is not waiting for the federal government to take action but is instead making the health of New York a priority.”