New York City Passes Sweeping Package of Bills to Further Reduce Tobacco Use

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Aug. 9 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today New York City has again taken bold action to further reduce tobacco use, the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States. The New York City Council approved a sweeping package of legislation introduced in April by Mayor Bill de Blasio and members of the Council that will increase the price and reduce the availability of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

These measures build on the enormous progress New York City has made in reducing tobacco use. They will prevent children from starting to use tobacco, encourage current tobacco users to quit and save lives. Thanks to these strong and innovative laws, New York City will again be a national leader in fighting tobacco use.

We applaud Mayor de Blasio, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Members Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, Fernando Cabrera, James Vacca and Ritchie Torres, and other public health advocates for championing this legislation and providing strong leadership in the fight against tobacco.

The bills approved today will:

  • Raise the minimum price for a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13, establish minimum prices and minimum pack sizes for other tobacco products and establish a 10 percent tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes, with proceeds directed to public housing.
  • Prohibit the sale of all tobacco products in pharmacies.
  • Cap the number of tobacco retailers in the city and cut the number in half through attrition.
  • Require a retail license to sell electronic cigarettes and cap e-cigarette licenses in a similar way to other tobacco licenses.
  • Increase the fee for tobacco retail licenses.
  • Require residential buildings to establish smoking policies and disclose them to both current and prospective residents.

 

These measures will save lives and improve the health of New York City residents for generations to come.

 

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