Wednesday, 20 September, 2017

NYC Mayor Signs Law That Will Raise Cigar Prices

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi “It's very cynical. It's all about greed,” de Blasio said at Kings County Hospital where he signed the bills
Connie Andrews | 30 August, 2017, 02:30

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday signed a sweeping series of anti-smoking bills, part of a comprehensive effort to help reduce the number of smokers in the city by almost 200,000 over the next few years. The city classifies cigars as "any roll of tobacco for smoking that is wrapped in leaf tobacco or in any substance containing tobacco, with or without a tip or mouthpiece".

The laws will raise the minimum price of a cigarette pack to $13 from $10.50, and reduce the number of stores selling tobacco by 50 percent through attrition.

New York City Council passed Bill 1544-B on August 9 by a vote of 33-9.

The new minimum price law, which takes effect on June 1, 2018, will make NY the most expensive place in the U.S.to buy cigarettes, Health Department officials said.

"We have these major worldwide corporations that clearly know better but to make a buck they're looking to hook a whole new generation of young people on tobacco products and we have to stop them", de Blasio said at the bill signing ceremony at Kings County hospital in Brooklyn. No retailers that now sell tobacco will lose their license, but no new licenses to sell tobacco will be issued in a community district until the total number is reduced by half. About 8,300 businesses now have a license. Some residential buildings will be required to ban smoking in common areas like hallways. The Red Cross in NY also is sending personnel to the region to assist.

The smoking rate in NYC has declined from 21.5% in 2002 to 14.3% in 2015, but that still means there are 900,000 smokers. Health officials believe that the new regulations could reduce the smoking rate to 12 percent by 2020.

An additional bill introduces a 10 percent tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes, ensuring that prices rise across the board regardless of the type of smoking. No new tobacco retail dealer licenses will be issued in community districts until the total decreases to below the cap. She noted a Chicago ordinance setting an $11.50 per pack minimum on cigarettes is on hold pending litigation. The Centers for Disease Control also states that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths every year in the United States.

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