NYC Mayor Proposes to Extend Display, Coupon, Flavored Tobacco Bans to E-Cigarettes

Thomas A. Briant, NATO Executive Director

In March of this year, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his support for two local tobacco ordinances that would ban tobacco displays in retail stores located in the city, restrict coupon redemption and multi-package pricing and ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, except in specialty tobacco bars.

Late last week, Mayor Bloomberg released the draft of an expanded version of these ordinances that extends these restrictions and prohibitions to electronic cigarettes. Specifically, the proposed ordinances would do the following:

*Include electronic cigarettes in the definition of tobacco products.

*Ban displays of electronic cigarettes from the public view except when an electronic cigarette product is being sold to a legal age customer and while the products are being restocked.

*Prohibit retailers from redeeming coupons on electronic cigarette products and outlaw multi-package pricing discounts on electronic cigarettes.

*Ban the sale of electronic cigarettes below the list price shown on product packaging, a display shelf, or product advertising.

*Prohibit the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes.

*Increase the legal age to purchase electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21.

At this time, no public hearing date has been set for these revised ordinances. NATO has been opposing these tobacco-related ordinances as originally introduced and now as amended to include the proposed restrictions and bans on electronic cigarettes.

The New York City Save Our Stores Coalition, of which NATO is a supporting member, has been working since this spring to educate local retailers on the impact of these ordinances and urge them to become active in opposing the restrictions and bans. To date, more than 4,000 New York City retailers have signed up to support the Save Our Stores Coalition efforts.

A copy of the recently issued New York City ordinances accompanies this bulletin.