Senator Michael F. Nozzolio announced that the New York State Senate has recently enacted two measures to help protect the health of our children by preventing addiction to opioids and nicotine.
Senate bill S.7337 prohibits health practitioners from prescribing to a minor more than a seven-day supply of any controlled substance containing an opioid and requires them to obtain written parental consent before issuing the prescription. The second enacted bill, S.6978, prohibits the distribution or sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.
“In every state across our nation, communities just like those in the Finger Lakes region, are facing a serious battle against the worse addiction crisis in our nation’s history,” said Senator Nozzolio. “We must protect our children, the most vulnerable group in our communities, from both opioid and nicotine addiction. Opiate addiction was once a problem limited to large cities but now, just as nicotine addiction has, is hitting small communities hard and they are struggling with its effects,” continued Senator Nozzolio.
Currently, the State’s public health law does not specifically include electronic cigarettes in the distribution of tobacco products without charge to minors, despite it being illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to those under 18 years of age. This loophole allows manufacturers to distribute free samples of electronic cigarettes to minors, especially at outdoor events. This legislation requires that the distribution or sale of electronic cigarettes must be only to an individual who can prove, through a driver’s license or other form of a government or educational institution issued photo identification, that they are at least 18 years old.
“The adoption of these measures is a significant step towards protecting our young citizens against the deadly results of opioid and nicotine addiction. I will continue my efforts to raise awareness of these issues and to help prevent addiction before it starts,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.
The bills await action by the New York State Assembly.