$13 a pack? NYC mayor wants highest cigarette prices in US

Apr 21, 2017, 00:15

He wants to hike the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13, create new regulations on e-cigarettes and restrict where tobacco can be sold.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday announced a series of proposed bills affecting the city's cigarette prices.

His overall goal is to reduce the number of smokers in the city by 160,000 people.

Everything in New York City is obscenely expensive and will probably kill you eventually, so it only makes sense that something that will definitely kill you eventually is getting more expensive.

"When it comes to New Yorkers' health, big tobacco is public enemy number one", the mayor said. "Today, we are taking a stand against these companies to not only reduce smoking and tobacco usage in New York City, but also save lives".

In addition to increasing disproportionately the living expenses of New York City's poor, the new proposals attack e-cigarette smokers.

De Blasio, a Democrat running for re-election in November, is picking up the mantle of his predecessor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who raised tobacco taxes and banned smoking in public places, an effort to improve public health that was adopted by municipalities across the U.S. Bloomberg, an independent, is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

"We resent the fact that the administration and the City Council are trying to attack law-abiding retailers when the real problem is on the streets", said James Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores.

There would also be a tax on other tobacco products.

The Times story does not indicate that the price increase will come in the form of a tax, which means retailers would actually get to keep the extra cigarette money once the price goes up.

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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