the North Country Healthy Heart Network is heralding the end of sales of flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco in New York State pharmacies.
The decision was made in a new law passed as part of the state’s 2021 budget, making New York the second state in the nation to end the sale of these products in pharmacies.
“These historic measures will help many New Yorkers live free from nicotine addiction and improve public health, we know that flavored e-cigarettes attract kids and teens, leading to nicotine addiction and related health problems. Additionally, selling tobacco products in pharmacies has long sent a contradictory message to consumers — pharmacies carry medicine and products often meant to heal individuals who are unhealthy due to the use of tobacco products,” said Ann Morgan, the executive director of the North Country Healthy Heart Network in a news release.
Nearly 40% of high school seniors in New York State use e-cigarettes, and 27% percent of all high schoolers vape, according to research done by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and the NYS Department of Health – Bureau of Tobacco Control. The study also found that the flavoring in e-cigarettes attracts kids, and the nicotine gets them addicted. This new law could potentially prevent a lifetime of addiction in young children.
An additional report from the Office of the Surgeon General shows the exposure to tobacco use and marketing drastically increases the likelihood that a young person will start to smoke. Ending the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies will be a step towards breaking that exposure, and ending tobacco use once and for all.
If you are seeking for help in quitting smoking or vaping, visit www.nysmokefree.com or call 1-866-NY-QUITS to receive information, and free nicotine replacement therapy for eligible residents. Medications and counseling are also covered by Medicaid and other popular insurance options.
Photo caption: The North Country Tobacco Treatment Network, from left: Ann Morgan, Heart Network; Juliann Woodward, Hudson Headwaters Health Network; Megan Perez, Tobacco Free CFE; Troy King, UVMHN AHMC; Amy Kohanski, Adirondack Health; Amy Corneck, Citizen Advocates; Danyelle Jones, Heart Network; Laura Weber, Citizen Advocates; Tabitha Butler, SUNY Plattsburgh; Elise Rock, UVMHN CVPH; and Kaylee McVey, SUNY Plattsburgh.