Age To Purchase Tobacco Products Increases From 18 To 21 New York

Kimberly Dole
November 13, 2019 - 9:26 am

Diego_Cervo/Getty Images


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The law increasing the minimum age to buy tobacco and electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21 years old goes into effect Wednesday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the goal is to prevent addictive cigarette and vaping products from getting to young people.

The governor signed the law in July after blaming marketing that is aimed directly at young people as part of the reason that so many children and teens pick up smoking despite decades of efforts to eradicate the habit. 

“New York is taking aggressive action to stamp out smoking among teens and children, but tobacco and e-cigarette use still persists thanks to irresponsible corporate marketing campaigns targeting young people,” he said in a statement in July. “By raising the smoking age from 18 to 21, we can stop cigarettes and e-cigarettes from getting into the hands of young people in the first place and prevent an entire generation of New Yorkers from forming costly and potentially deadly addictions.”

Nearly 40 percent of 12th grade students in new york and 27 percent of high school students are now using e-cigarettes.

According to reports, the increase is largely driven by flavored e-liquids.