Two new laws protect children and youth from harmful effects of cigarettes
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo had signed two bills to protect New York's children and teenagers from the harmful effects of cigarettes.
The new law expands the ban on smoking on school grounds to prohibit smoking within 100 feet of the entrances, exits or outdoor areas of public and private schools. Residences or residential property within the 100 foot perimeter would be excluded from the new law's smoking ban. This new law takes effect immediately.
The new law also prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to individuals who are less than 18 years of age. E-cigarettes could serve as a pathway to nicotine addiction for children, leading them to smoke cigarettes and use other tobacco products. Moreover, e-cigarette refill cartridges, often sold without protective packaging, contain high concentrations of nicotine which could be fatal if accidentally ingested by young children. Currently e-cigarettes are not regulated in New York hence children can purchase these devices and consume nicotine, an addictive chemical. The bill passed the Assembly and Senate unanimously, and the new law takes effect on January 1, 2013.
"These two new laws will strengthen our state's protections to help our young people avoid nicotine addiction as well as the harmful effects of cigarette smoke. I thank the sponsors of both these bills for their efforts to protect the health of our youth." Governor Cuomo said.
There are tens of thousands of deaths each year in New York related to tobacco use. In addition to smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke may cause various illnesses and is known to be particularly detrimental to the health of children who are in their early years of physical development. This new law will make sure that hazardous smoke is kept at a reasonable distance from public or private educational institutions, providing a great relief for many parents who worry about poisonous carcinogens sickening their children.