A stunned store owner in Midtown couldn’t believe what she was hearing. A new bill proposed by Mayor Bloomberg that would require retail stores to hide their cigarettes behind counters, curtains or cabinets.
The owner of a small stationery store that sells them on the East Side said that this combined with the skyrocketing price of cigarettes could ruin her business.
According to the CDC, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US. Some say whether or not it is harmful, cracking down on them is like cracking down on their right to smoke.
The tobacco product display reduction bill is a major proposal that would be a first here and across the country.
The announcement comes just about a week after a judge shot down Bloomberg’s proposed ban on super-sized soft drinks.
Some said they were skeptical of the timing here.
The mayor says he wants to further reduce the smoking rate in New York City and hopes other cities and countries will follow.
“New York City has dramatically lowered our smoking rate, but even one new smoker is one too many especially when it’s a young person,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Young people are targets of marketing and the availability of cigarettes and this legislation will help prevent another generation from the ill health and shorter life expectancy that comes with smoking.”
The legislation would have to be approved by City Council. It could be voted on on Wednesday. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has expressed support for the goal of the legislation.
It would Include every retailer that sells cigarettes unless it’s a cigar-only store because they already prohibit youth under 18.