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

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 20, 2017

De Blasio's new package of five anti-smoking bills, if approved by the City Council, would also make it harder to sell e-cigarettes in the city by imposing the same licensing restrictions on e-cig sellers as are now imposed on cigarette sellers.

Another bill will cap the number of tobacco retailer dealer licenses in each of the city's community districts at 50 percent of the current number, meaning that, if passed, the number of stores in your neighborhood slinging smokes will cut in half.

De Blasio noted that the top five causes of death for city residents-heart disease, cancer, pneumonia, respiratory disease and stroke-are all linked to smoking. "We can no longer sit by while the next generation becomes addicted". 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.

Besides raising prices, the proposals would also reduce the number of tobacco retailers citywide, create a retail license for e-cigarettes and require that all residential buildings enact a smoking policy. Altria Group Inc., which sells Marlboro brand cigarettes in the USA, reported on Feb.1 its domestic shipment volume declined about 3.5 percent in 2016, in line with its competitors. He plans to accomplish this audacious feat of social engineering by taxing the hell out of tobacco products, and making packs of cigarettes even more expensive. There are more than 550 such pharmacies in the city with tobacco-selling licenses. Brittany Adams, a Reynolds American spokeswoman, declined to comment.

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