Republican Proposes Tighter Regulation Of Tobacco, Vaping

This file photo shows packs of menthol cigarettes and other tobacco products at a store in San Francisco. As federal officials finalize a long-awaited plan to ban menthol cigarettes, dozens of interest groups have met with White House staffers to try and influence the process, which has the potential to save thousands of lives while wiping out billions in tobacco sales. AP file photo

Legislation has been introduced in the state Assembly to create an adult-use substances authority to oversee liquor, cannabis, alcohol, tobacco and vaping.

Assemblyman Keith Brown, R-Northport, introduced A.10408 near the end of the state legislative session. The bill would establish the Tobacco, Nicotine and Vaping Law and establishes the Adult-Use Substances Authority to oversee the state Liquor Authority, Cannabis Control Board and Tobacco, Nicotine and Vaping Authority. Additionally, Brown would create the Tobacco and Vapor Product Use Prevention and Control Program and the Electronic Cigarette and Vaping Prevention, Awareness and Control Program to educate the public, including students, about the risks associated with the use of tobacco, nicotine and vaping.

The new authority would develop a registration and licensing procedure as well as licensing requirements for all tobacco businesses, retail tobacco businesses, retail dealers, vapor product dealers, retail electronic cigarette stores and anyone who sells tobacco, nicotine or vaping products.

“The Tobacco, Nicotine and Vaping Authority will ensure the health and safety of the public and the use of proper ingredients and methods in the manufacture of all tobacco, nicotine and vaping products to be sold or consumed in the sate and to ensure that products are not packaged, marketed or otherwise sold in a way which targets minors or promotes increased use,” Brown wrote in his legislative justification.

In September, the state Health Department announced New York’s youth smoking rate had reached an all-time low. As of 2020, less than 3% of high school students smoke cigarettes, down from 27.1% in 2000. The Youth Tobacco Survey found youth tobacco use was down across all tobacco product categories, including a drop in e-cigarette use for the first time. In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared e-cigarette use among youth an epidemic, and studies show that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking cigarettes than those who do not vape nicotine. In New York, e-cigarette use among high school age students increased 160% between 2014 and 2018. While still by far the most commonly used tobacco product among youth in our state, the rate of e-cigarette use also decreased for the first time since New York began monitoring use of these products. Between 2018 and 2020, the e-cigarette use rate among high schoolers dropped by 18%.

The state raised the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 in 2019.

Brown, for one, thinks more needs to be done.

“The creation of the Tobacco, Nicotine and Vaping Authority will provide the necessary oversight to all manufacturing, advertising and distribution of tobacco, nicotine and vaping products as well as providing transparency and helping to curtail underage use of such products,” Brown wrote.


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