Governor Kathy Hochul signed a new public health legislation, identified as A1025/S50, targeting tobacco sales within New York State. The law bans the sale of tobacco products from vending stands and machines situated inside state buildings. Hochul expressed her intent to further protect public health, asserting, “We’re cracking down on Big Tobacco by banning the sale of their harmful products in New York State buildings.” The legislation modifies the public buildings law, ensuring it aligns with other state rules and policies related to tobacco sales. Future vendor leases and contracts will be subject to this prohibition.
Tobacco consumption, particularly smoking, has long been a significant public health concern, with over 480,000 deaths in the U.S. attributed to it annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By limiting access to these products in state facilities, New York aims to establish a societal and legal landscape where tobacco becomes less desired and obtainable. A 2013 report on the New York Tobacco Control Program revealed that achieving reductions in tobacco usage hinges on diminishing its desirability, acceptability, and accessibility.
State officials have voiced their support for the new law. State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal emphasized New York’s commitment against “Big Tobacco” and highlighted the tragic toll smoking has taken on New Yorkers in recent years. Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn praised the legislation, acknowledging the joint efforts of the Legislature and Governor Hochul. She stated, “The fight against Big Tobacco isn’t over, but this is a significant victory as we continue to protect our communities from deadly nicotine addiction and save more lives.”
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