The Assembly passed legislation that would increase the purchasing age for tobacco products and electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21 years old.

The bill is now on it's the way to the Senate, if it's passed for approval there, then Governor Cuomo will sign it into law.

As of January 8, 2019, six states – California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii and Maine – have raised the tobacco age to 21, along with at least 430 localities, including New York City, Chicago, San Antonio, Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, both Kansas Cities and Washington, DC.

The minimum legal sale age for tobacco products and electronic cigarettes is 21 in the following counties:

  • New York City
  • Albany
  • Cattaragus
  • Chautauqua
  • Cortland
  • Essex
  • Nassau
  • Onondaga
  • Orange
  • Rockland
  • Schenectady
  • Suffolk
  • Sullivan
  • Tompkins
  • Ulster
  • Westchester

Speaker Carl Heastie says

"Smoking cigarettes and e-cigarettes is a dangerous and addictive habit that too often begins in high school or earlier...By raising the purchasing age to 21, we can remove tobacco and other addictive products from our schools and improve health outcomes by stopping smoking before it starts." [Speaker Heastie]

The release says the best way to reduce the number of smokers and e-cigarette users news is to prevent the initiation of use. By delaying children and young adults' ability to access tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, we will reduce the likelihood they ever start using the products, creating a healthier New York.

"The lifelong health effects and human misery caused by tobacco use cannot be understated and New York needs to do everything in its power to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our young people. That's why I made raising the age of tobacco sales to 21 one of the first proposals of my Justice Agenda and I applaud the Assembly and particularly Assembly Member Rosenthal for taking action on this very important issue today. I urge the Senate to follow suit and help make this a stronger and healthier New York for all." [Gov. Cuomo]