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New state health commissioner says menthol ban should stay in NY budget

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

New York’s acting health commissioner, Dr. James McDonald, is urging a ban on flavored tobacco products in the state, including menthol cigarettes, which he claims are responsible for younger people’s addiction to tobacco.


Governor Kathy Hochul’s $227 billion budget proposal includes a provision for a flavored product ban, but Democratic lawmakers in the Legislature have dropped it.

The ban is opposed by the tobacco industry and convenience store organizations in New York, who argue that it would be ineffective against the thriving black market.

The ban is estimated to make 171,000 New Yorkers quit smoking, a substantial number, according to McDonald. The proposed ban is bundled with a $1 tax increase on cigarette packs in the state.