NEW YORK -- Several new proposals by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would raise the price of a pack of cigarettes to at least $13, reduce the number of retailers selling tobacco and ban the sale of cigarettes at drug stores, among other regulations.
De Blasio announced the series of legislative proposals with the goal of reducing the number of smokers in New York City by 160,000 over the next three years. While smoking rates in New York City have declined from 21.5% in 2002 to 14.3% in 2015, the city still has more than 900,000 smokers, including 15,000 youth, according to the mayor's office. There are also 174,000 adults and 42,000 adolescents using e-cigarettes. These new proposals will decrease smoking rates to 12%, according to estimates.
"When it comes to New Yorkers' health, big tobacco is public enemy No. 1," he said. "These companies have used the same playbook for decades, and we can no longer sit by while the next generation becomes addicted.”
The mayor said a series of five legislative proposals will be introduced to raise the price to $13 per pack:
- Raising the minimum prices for all tobacco products, including cigarettes, and imposing a new 10% local tax on other tobacco products.
- Reducing through attrition the number of tobacco retailers citywide.
- Creating a retail license for e-cigarettes and capping the number of e-cigarette retailers.
- Requiring all residential buildings to create a smoking policy and disclosing it to both current and prospective tenants.
- Banning the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies.
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