The New York State Legislature has rejected Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposal to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol. The proposal was first introduced in February as part of the Governor’s 2023-2024 fiscal year budget. Had the proposal passed, New York would have become the third state in the United States to implement a ban on all flavored tobacco products.
The proposal was met with opposition from various industries, including convenience stores and bodegas. Many argued that a ban on flavored tobacco products would not deter people from smoking, but would instead push them towards purchasing unregulated and untaxed products.
Despite this opposition, advocates of the ban argue that flavored tobacco products, including menthol, are disproportionately marketed towards people in Black and Brown communities. The science-based evidence shows that Big Tobacco has systematically targeted these communities, leading to higher rates of addiction and health problems.
While the proposal to ban flavored tobacco products has been rejected, the legislature has decided to increase the excise tax on cigarettes from $4.35 to $5.35. It also increases the existing use tax rate on cigarettes by the same amount.
FingerLakes1.com is the region’s leading all-digital news publication. The company was founded in 1998 and has been keeping residents informed for more than two decades. Have a lead? Send it to [email protected].