NYC Plans To Raise Cigarette Prices To Highest In Nation
Apr 22, 2017, 01:37
The proposal, known as INT-1544 and sponsored by Councilman Corey D. Johnson, seeks to raise the minimum price on a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13, while smokeless tobacco and shisha packages would be set at $8 and $17, respectively.
On Wednesday, April 19, New York City became the latest to join a long list of US cities to propose strict measures to cut tobacco use.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing legislation to hike New York City's minimum cigarette-pack price to $13, halve the number of stores allowed to sell tobacco products and put pharmacies out of the tobacco business altogether.
The city said there are about 900,000 smokers across the five boroughs, including 15,000 young New Yorkers.
The city already has the second-highest excise tax rate at $5.85 per pack. He also asserted that 174,000 adults and 42,000 adolescents use e-cigarettes.
The North Shore had the highest rate of current smokers of all citywide community districts, according to 2015 surveys conducted by the Health Department. The bill also proposed the reduction in the tobacco retailer numbers via attrition.
"There will be a fight over this in the coming months", the mayor said.
While no current dealers will lose their license, new licenses wouldn't be issued until the total decreases below the cap.
The proposal also advocates the creation of a retail license for e-cigarettes, as well as limiting the number of sellers. A separate license will also be created for e-cigarette retailers under a bill introduced by Council Member Cabrera.
The other two bills will prohibit pharmacies from selling tobacco products and require landlords to create a smoking policy for the entire building and disclose it to tenants, although it doesn't require that they turn the buildings into no-smoking buildings.
Council Member Fernando Cabrera, who introduced the bill to create the licensing requirement for e-cigarette retailers, described the proposal as "a major step to limit the use of e-cigarettes, which are unsafe nicotine delivery systems that can lead to nicotine and potentially drug addiction".
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