The age to legally buy tobacco and e-cigarettes in New York is going up.

The legal age will go from 18 to 21. The law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, goes into effect November 13, 2019.

"The goal of this law is simple - to prevent cigarettes and vaping products from getting into the hands of our youth, creating an addiction to a deadly habit," Governor Cuomo said. "We are taking aggressive action to make sure the decades of progress we've made to combat tobacco addiction is not undone by a sharp rise in e-cigarette use among younger New Yorkers."

According to Department of Health data, nearly 40% of 12th grade students and 27% of high school students in New York State are now using e-cigarettes, and this increase is largely driven by flavored e-liquids.

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State Police will partner with the Department of Health to conduct undercover investigations. Underage kids will attempt to buy tobacco and e-cigarette products across the state. As of November 1, over 1,700 inspections have occurred since July focusing on youth 18 years and under. Any retailer selling tobacco and vaping products to underage individuals will now face criminal penalties in addition to civil penalties.


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