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New law bans sale of flavored e-cigarettes at all New York retailers

Emily DeVito
Updated: May 18, 2020 03:16 PM
Created: May 18, 2020 06:48 AM

COHOES – A new law banning all New York retailers from selling flavored e-cigarettes goes into effect Monday.

The new law also makes it illegal for pharmacies to sell any tobacco products. 

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For Marra's Pharmacy in Cohoes, not having tobacco products on the shelves is nothing new. The pharmacy, owned by Assemblyman John McDonald, made the decision to ban tobacco products in 1988.

"The good news is over the last several years, some larger retailers have decided that this is not something we should have as part of our business plan. So this year we passed it in the state budget," McDonald said.

"People don't realize this legislation has been moved along year after year. Both houses were starting to support it. The governor made it a priority this year," said McDonald. "As much as it should have probably been passed on its own merit, because I think it could have, we also had an inkling that we might not be back anytime soon. The decision was made, let's get this done during the budget process."

He says lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were supportive of it. He said it was important to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes at stores because of the amount of teens using them. Public health advocates have said flavors like cotton candy and Swedish fish entice students.

The New York State Department of Health said 27 percent of high schoolers in 2018 used e-cigarettes. 

McDonald believes the law is beneficial to pharmacies.

"Put them out of their misery. They all realize there are more important things pharmacies should be doing," McDonald added.

If a pharmacy is caught selling one of the products, it could be fined $100 per product. 


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