Cigarette Packs Could Cost At Least $13 Apiece Under New Legislation

21 April, 2017, 03:26 | Author: Alejandro Stokes
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio is asking supporters of his re-election bid to sign a petition to support his plan to close Rikers Island. AP

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. The proposed move would make NYC home to the highest-priced cigarettes in the country.

The mayor says over 80 percent of children in New York City were accepted to the school of their choice. The bill, from Council Member Johnson, would raise the price of a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13, which the mayor's office claims will lower the percentage of adults who smoke from 14.3 percent to 13.9 percent. The city expects the tax will generate at least $1 million annually that would be funneled to the New York City Housing Authority. De Blasio made the announcement during anti-smoking event in the city.

The bills will reduce the number of tobacco retailers, license those selling electronic cigarettes and cap their numbers.

The legislative package may reduce the number of smokers in the most populous US city by 160,000 over the next three years. Keep checking abc7NY for the latest on this developing story.

Many argue that increases on cigarette prices are regressive, meaning they disproportionately weigh on the poor and underprivileged.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said that tobacco companies particularly target youth with their marketing, calling the legislation a new way forward. None of four people interviewed said they purchase full-price legal cigarettes as it is.

Jacob Jacobson, who was smoking a cigarette on Lexington Avenue, said he commutes from the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania and buys his cigarettes there for about $8 a pack. But Jeff Lenard, a spokesman for the National Association of Convenience Stores, questioned whether the legislation would put a dent in city smoking rates, and said it could instead lead to more out-of-state and black market tobacco sales. Settlement payments are based on cigarette shipments.

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