NYS lawmakers reject proposal to ban menthol cigarettes
N.Y. (WENY) -- The New York State Senate and New York State Assembly rejected Governor Kathy Hochul's proposal to ban sales on flavored tobacco products, which would have included menthol cigarettes. Hochul introduced the proposal in February 2023, and if her proposal was adopted - it would've made New York the third state in the U.S. to completely ban all flavored tobacco products.
Hochul's proposal was opposed by the State Assembly and State Senate, but both groups did agree to raise cigarette taxes by one dollar. This would raise the current tax on cigarettes from $4.35 to $5.35.
Some supporters of the ban say menthol and flavored tobacco products are disproportionately advertised to Black and Brown communities. On the other hand, people who are against the ban say it can hurt local businesses.
"There’s absolutely no evidence in any state around the country to show that if you get rid of these tobacco products, you’re going to cause bodegas and grocery stores and stuff to go out of business," Michael Davoli, New York senior government relations director at the American Cancer Society, previously said.
Once the increase of $1 per pack goes into effect, it will make New York the state with the highest cigarette tax.