The Two state lawmakers from the Lower Hudson Valley, who put forward the bill, Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, and Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, D-Yonkers, said that its aim is to discourage people from smoking by denying retailers the possibility to sell tobacco products at a reduced price. The bill would apply to cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes and other “tobacco products”.

“Time and time again, we’ve seen that as prices go up for tobacco products, the usage declines,” said Sen. Carlucci, adding “(Coupons and discounts) are a way for big tobacco companies to get around the high prices of cigarettes.”

The bill would not apply to NRTs such as Nicotine Gum, yet once again the millions of smokers who use e-cigs for smoking cessation are being ignored.
If implemented the bill would not apply to NRTs such as Nicotine Gum, yet once again the millions of smokers who use electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation are being ignored. This bill was modelled on an existing law in New York City, which was implemented in 2014 after winning a legal battle with cigarette manufacturers and convenience store owners. Mayer and Carlucci first proposed this statewide bill last year, but it died in committee, and after reintroducing it this year, it is currently in the reviewal process.

If the suggested ban goes through, any retailer caught violating it would be faced with a $1,000 fine, a $2,000 fine for a second offence and $5,000 for a third.

The tragedy of imposing the same rules on cigarettes and e-cigs

While the bill has been supported by health associations such as the American Lung Association, other public health experts will most certainly agree that putting cigarettes and vaping products under the same umbrella by imposing the same regulations on the very different products, is unfair on the millions of vapers who use the safer alternatives for smoking cessation.

This stance contrasts greatly with the one adopted throughout the UK, where vaping products are recommended for smoking cessation and even given out for free by local Stop Smoking Services. This has been proving very successful and has resulted in the UK reporting the lowest number of smokers ever recorded.

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