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20 April 2017, 06:38 | Todd Saunders
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.
De Blasio says the city already has a record-low percentage of smokers, 14 percent. New York City would have the highest priced cigarettes in the country.
The measure is part of a package of five Council bills supported by the de Blasio administration that aims to reduce the number of smokers by 160,000 over the next three years.
There are now about 900,000 smokers in New York City, according to the mayor's office.
Our government should adopt the United Kingdom's Royal College of Physicians position that "the hazard to health arising from long-term vapour inhalation from the e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5 percent of the harm from smoking tobacco".
The liberal Democratic mayor offered rare praise for the "extraordinary work" of the man he replaced, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who barred smoking in parks and established the minimum price.
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The Mayor's office and a number of City Council Members are pushing a slew of new anti-smoking measures, this time targeting tobacco sellers.
The North Shore had the highest rate of current smokers of all citywide community districts, according to 2015 surveys conducted by the Health Department. According to the press release, there are also 174,000 adults and 42,000 adolescents using e-cigarettes in New York City.
One of the bills would also make it illegal for 550 pharmacies and stores that contain retail pharmacies to sell tobacco products.
The bills will reduce the number of tobacco retailers, license those selling electronic cigarettes and cap their numbers.
Councilmen Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, Fernando Cabrera and Ritchie Torres introduced the bills, which will first be heard by the health committee on April 19 and could all pass by the summer, officials said.
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