$13 A Pack? NYC Mayor Wants Highest Cigarette Prices In US
22 April, 2017, 01:35 | Author: Celia Hoffman
"The goal overall... is to reduce the number of smokers in this city by 160,000 by the year 2020", the mayor said.
Smokeless tobacco would also cost at least $8 and the price for tobacco-containing shisha packages would be set at $17 under the bill.
NY tax on cigarettes is $4.35, the highest in the nation, and brand-name packs there are already around $12.
De Blasio is backing an effort to force people to quit smoking by raising the city's current legal minimum price of a pack from $10.50, further cementing New York City'sclaim on having among the most expensive cigarettes in the country.
"These companies have used the same playbook for decades, and we can no longer sit by while the next generation becomes addicted", de Blasio said. "By giving DCA the ability to license e-cigarettes and limit the number of retailers selling tobacco products, we can better enforce existing laws that help keep tobacco products out of the hands of minors and improve the health of all New Yorkers".
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One of the bills that will be introduced to the City Council next week will raise the price floor on cigarette and small cigar packs, and introduce one for other tobacco products sold in the city.
In addition, the increased prices on tobacco will increase the opportunity for black market cigarette dealers. But he said smoking is addictive and it's going to take more than a higher price to make smokers quit.
The city also recently introduced a ban on smoking in public housing, which anxious some tenants about being kicked out of their homes. There are an estimated 900,000 smokers in New York City.
The proposals drew ire from the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), which pointed out that illegal cigarettes are the real issue. "This is an important first step in protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers".
The other bills will slash the tobacco retail dealer licenses in each community district to half their current number, and create a separate license for the retail sale of e-cigarettes. He also asserted that 174,000 adults and 42,000 adolescents use e-cigarettes.
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