BILL NUMBER: S248
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the public health law, in relation to prohibiting the
sale of flavored cigarettes
To prohibit the sale of certain flavored cigarettes.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Section 1: Legislative findings and intent;
Section 2: Prohibits the sale of cigarettes which contains an additive
that causes the cigarette to have a characterizing flavor. The term
characterizing flavor is defined to include, but not be limited to:
any fruit, chocolate, honey, candy, mint, cocoa, desert, alcoholic
beverage, herb or spice; and specifically excludes tobacco, clove or
menthol flavoring. Imposes a civil fine of $500 for each violation.
The recent proliferation of cigarettes which are marketed as having a
flavor imitating foods, candies, deserts, beverages, and spices is a
disturbing trend in what some public health officials in Michigan and
Massachusetts have called an attempt at marketing cigarettes to
children. Nicotine is an addictive drug which is in itself harmful to
people's health. Tobacco smoke contains many other additional
chemicals known to cause cancer as well as heart and lung disease.
While adults are free to decide to smoke it they wish, it is important
for them to be aware of and appreciate the potential long term health
effects of smoking before deciding to do so. The law recognizes that
children, however, cannot make those kinds of informed decisions, and
prohibits the sale of cigarettes to children for this reasons.
Unfortunately, cigarettes have proven too attractive for too many
children, who have found ways to procure tobacco products. This has
left these children addicted to cigarettes before they could
appreciate or understand their harm.
Even if flavored cigarettes are not intended to appeal to children,
the evidence suggests that such an appeal exists. The suggestion that
these flavored cigarettes are priced too high to appeal to children is
unconvincing. Once addicted to nicotine and used to tobacco smoke,
underage smokers will turn to less expensive types of cigarettes, if
doing so is the only way to satisfy their addition. The only solution
is for the State to do everything in its power to ensure that these
products are not available in New York by prohibiting their sale.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
2005 Health Committee
2006 on 3rd Reading (S.1952-A/A.3983-A)
2007-2008 3rd Reading, (S4517-A/A.7368-A.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
None. Will result in a long term cost-savings to the State and local
governments, by reducing the public health effect of tobacco use.
EFFECTIVE DATE :
180 days after enactment.