Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

ALBANY – Thursday’s passage of Tobacco 21 (A273) in the state Assembly’s Health Committee was a positive step forward in preventing New York’s youth from becoming addicted to tobacco, the No. 1 preventable cause of death in New York and a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease, diabetes and asthma, according to public health groups who have been advocating for this measure, said the American Heart Association.

Passage of Tobacco 21 Could Save Lives, MoneySeveral organizations applauded the Health Committee and sponsor Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan.

According to the organizations:

The health committee took an important step today by approving Tobacco 21, and we applaud their action on behalf of all of New York’s youth.

Smoking kills 28,200 New Yorkers, and costs the state $10 billion in health-care expenses every year. Ninety-five percent of smokers begin before they are 21. The tobacco industry is on the record saying if they don’t have a committed smoker by 21, chances are that person won’t be a life-long customer.

And people 18 – 21 years old often provide cigarettes to younger kids. Today’s vote is an important step toward getting Tobacco 21 passed into law – and protecting kids and saving lives – before the Legislature adjourns next week.

From the health committee, Tobacco 21 goes to the Assembly Codes Committee.

Tobacco 21 is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.

Public health groups applauding the Assembly Health Committee, and advocating for passage of Tobacco 21, include:

  • American Heart Association
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American Lung Association
  • Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
  • March of Dimes
  • Medical Society of The State of New York
  • New York Chapter American College of Physicians
  • New York State Association of County Health Officials
  • New York State American Academy of Pediatrics
  • New York State Association Family Physicians
  • New York State Public Health Association
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute




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