NYC mayor backs proposal to raise cigarette prices

Barsaba Taglieri
Aprile 21, 2017

New York City's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio backed five legislative proposals created to reduce the number of smokers in the city by 160,000 over the next three years.

If adopted, the legislative package, which also caps the number of e-cigarette retailers and requires apartment buildings to adopt and disclose smoking policies, may curb returns on about $1.5 billion of bonds issued by New York City repaid with payments from tobacco companies under a 1998 settlement.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and a group of City Council members are determined to make New Yorkers quit smoking, one way or another.

The mayor says over 80 percent of children in New York City were accepted to the school of their choice.

The city wants to hike the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes in the five boroughs from $10.50 to $13.

Though the town hall will have no specific theme, the Mayor will answer questions from constituents on whatever topics they bring up, according to a spokeswoman for de Blasio.

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

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No one will say that smoking tobacco is healthy. "The biggest challenge facing New York City is a pervasive black market cigarette epidemic".

Smokers stopped on the street Wednesday bore that out.

Van Bramer said he was glad the mayor was coming to the neighborhood to speak to residents.

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. A widely cited study which surveyed smokers both in New York State and nationally said that between 2010 and 2011, those making less than $30,000 per year in New York State spent 23.6 percent of annual household income on cigarettes.

Syed Alamgir Hashan, who works at the BJ Newspapers store, agreed.

"I am trying to quit, so increasing the price would help", smoker Nichole Munisami said. Settlement payments are based on cigarette shipments.

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