In 2020, new policies took effect across New York State that help protect our kids and communities from Big Tobacco.


As of May 2020, the sale of flavored vape products, including
mint and menthol, ended across New York State.

While they might look like candy on the outside, there’s nothing sweet about flavored vape products. And for too long, tobacco companies had been using them to attract and addict new smokers.

This policy plays an important role in stemming the tide of youth e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction in New York by reducing the appeal of vapor products that contain nicotine.

Flavors, including menthol, improve the taste and mask the harshness of tobacco products

making it easier to start these products and harder to quit.

The tobacco industry aggressively marketed menthol products to young people and African Americans, especially in urban communities.

More than a quarter of youth in New York State reported current use of an e-cigarette in 2018

and the majority of youth that use tobacco products choose flavored tobacco products. 

The marketing and promotion of menthol cigarettes have been targeted heavily toward African Americans

through culturally tailored advertising images and messages.
93% of black smokers started using menthol cigarettes.

While this is a big win for the health of New Yorkers, there’s still more to do because menthol and other flavored tobacco products are still sold statewide by retailers.

Menthol is not just a flavor; it’s a manipulative way for Big Tobacco to target, attract and addict new smokers. Learn more about the work that still needs to be done!

Learn more


No health care provider would ever prescribe tobacco. But for years, tobacco had been found in pharmacies, a place where people go for health care. Those days are over.

As of May 2020, tobacco products can no longer be sold at pharmacies across New York State.

This policy will reduce overall tobacco retail density that reduces the amount of tobacco imagery that youth are exposed to.

The law removes dangerous and incongruent health messaging posed by pharmacy sales of tobacco, and aids addicted tobacco users who are attempting to quit.


As of July 2020, retailers in New York State can no longer accept coupons for tobacco and vape products or sell them using multi-pack price promotions. New York lives are worth more than increased sales.

$7.5 Billion.

That’s how much tobacco companies spend each year on discounts and multi-pack promotions in an effort to attract new smokers and retain current smokers. And the worst part? It works.

This law limits the tobacco industry’s ability to circumvent New York State’s high taxes on tobacco products, which are proven to reduce smoking prevalence, especially among youth.

Thank You, for your support

It’s a significant victory in combating Big Tobacco’s long history of discounts and other pricing schemes that are known to appeal to youth, and target minority communities,
low-income communities and people trying to quit.

Learn more about the work that still needs to be done.

Learn more
Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center
Legislature delivers impactful changes to public health policy

Read more about the updated policies