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SENATE ACTS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM THE ADDICTIVE RISKS OF NICOTINE IN ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES

By LILY WILSON

On Tuesday,  the New York State Senate reassured their commitment to the Health and Safety of children by closing loopholes to prevent youth from acquiring E-Cigarettes or using them on school grounds. The Senate continued their vow by passing two bills that would help prevent teen smoking by prohibiting the free distribution of electronic cigarettes to minors under 18 and preventing e-cigarette use on school grounds.

One of the two bills prohibits the free distribution of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18 years old. Despite current law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, manufacturers will no longer be able to take advantage of a loophole that allowed them to distribute free samples of their products to minors. Senator Akshar, the sponsor of this bill said, “This is about protecting our communities’ children – simple as that. Allowing e-cigarette companies to exploit a loophole and distribute free samples to minors is unacceptable and needs to stop.”

The second bill, sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie, focuses on banning the use of electronic cigarettes on any school property. Although many schools already have a “tobacco-free” environment, e-cigarettes do not contain any tobacco so this new measure would help schools continue to restrict youth from using e-cigarettes at school.

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