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Governor Hochul Announced a Proposal to Increase Cigarette Tax

In a Proposal announced on Tuesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul, the state wants to increase the cigarette tax by $1 and ban all flavored tobacco products. This proposal came in her State of the State Address. This announcement came in hopes of working towards a “tobacco-free” next generation.

The Plan

To create a “tobacco-free generation,” health officials are citing an increase in e-cigarette use among people under 21. According to Hochul’s proposal, cigarettes in New York would be taxed from $4.35 to $5.35. Hochul also wants to end the sale of all flavored tobacco in New York. In recent years, New York has attempted to limit youth smoking. Tobacco product purchase minimums have been raised from 18 to 21, and e-cigarette regulations have been tightened.

New York advocates estimate that 4,300 people under the age of 18 become daily smokers each year. Health advocates and anti-smoking advocates applauded the plans.

NY Has Highest Per-Pack Tax

Upon final passage of the measures in the state Legislature, Trevor Summerfield, the director of advocacy for the American Lung Association, said New York would be a national leader in this area. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, New York has the highest per-pack tax on cigarettes of any state in the country, while Washington D.C. imposes a 15-cent excise tax. “The state’s previous removal of flavored vaping products from the market was an important first step,” he said. “The initiatives announced today if implemented, will drastically reduce tobacco use rates and weaken Big Tobacco’s continued efforts to addict our youth to their deadly products.”

Wrap Up

The state is trying to cut down on not only underage tobacco users but tobacco users in general as well. It will be interesting to see if this plan gets set into motion and how it will positively or negatively impact smokers across the state.

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