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$13 a pack? NYC mayor wants highest cigarette prices in US
20 April 2017, 09:12 | Todd Saunders
By sheer coincidence (if you are completely ignorant to even the most basic concepts of economics), NY has the highest rate of cigarette smuggling in the country.
Speaking Wednesday at the American Heart Association's offices in Manhattan, de Blasio said he hopes to sign five anti-tobacco bills this year, toward a larger effort to cut the number of smokers in the city by 120,000 from the current 900,000 by 2020.
The assorted legislation aims to reduce the number of smokers in the city by 160,000 in three years through measures including a ban from selling cigarettes in pharmacies, a price hike, lowering the number of bodegas that can sell cigarettes and regulating e-cigarette sales, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Tobacco products could soon be not only tougher to find in the city, but also more costly.
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. "We can no longer sit by while the next generation becomes addicted".
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This is the first major initiative de Blasio has announced on smoking. Settlement payments are based on cigarette shipments.
One of the bills, sponsored by Councilman Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), raises the minimum per-pack price of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13.
The immediate impact of de Blasio's announcement on tobacco bonds issued by the New York City couldn't be determined.
Smoking rates in the city fell after the Bloomberg administration raised cigarette taxes, but eventually leveled off and then crept up a bit.
David Sutton, an Altria spokesman, said the company is still reviewing the city's proposed legislation.
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