Mayor Wants to Raise Floor on Cost of Cigarette Packs to $13

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council announced new initiatives today aimed at cutting the number of smokers in the five boroughs by 160,000 over the next three years-mainly by raising the price floor for cigarettes and cigarillos from $10.50 a pack to $13, among other measures directed at the tobacco industry.

"When it comes to New Yorker's health, big tobacco is public enemy #1", de Blasio said". Currently, the minimum is $10.50.

The mayor says he also wants to license and cap tobacco sellers and e-cigarette retailers. The proposed move would make NYC home to the highest-priced cigarettes in the country.

De Blasios' predecessor Michael Bloomberg began leading a charge to stub out smoking in the city in 2002, when the smoking rate was 22 percent.

At $13, a pack in NY would cost triple one in North Dakota and be more expensive than a city sandwich or a typical cocktail.

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"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. The last time a NY mayor tried to tax citizens into making healthier choices (remember Bloomberg's soda tax?), it didn't pan out so well.

Stores selling cigarettes and e-cigarettes would also be banned from delivering cigarettes, tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Lander also sponsored a bill that would eventually cut the number of retailers allowed to sell tobacco by half in each community district.

By sheer coincidence (if you are completely ignorant to even the most basic concepts of economics), NY has the highest rate of cigarette smuggling in the country. Another measure from Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) would require building owners to create a policy on smoking and disclose it to current and potential residents, or risk a $100 civil fine.

Banning the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies The bills will be heard by the health committee on April 27.

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