New York City to Consider New Tax on Tobacco Products

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.

The proposed bills from de Blasio advocates that the base price for any tobacco product be raised.

"Today, we are taking a stand against these companies to not only reduce smoking and tobacco usage in New York City, but also save lives", shared de Blasio.

One of the bills that will be introduced to the City Council next week will raise the price floor on cigarette and small cigar packs, and introduce one for other tobacco products sold in the city.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said that tobacco companies particularly target youth with their marketing, calling the legislation a new way forward. He said he's not anxious about new tobacco regulations.

Mayor de Blasio announced the next installment of his "City Hall in Your Borough" tour on Twitter Thursday, with a short video saying he planned to head to Bronx Borough Hall in late May.

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The Times story does not indicate that the price increase will come in the form of a tax, which means retailers would actually get to keep the extra cigarette money once the price goes up.

In addition, the increased prices on tobacco will increase the opportunity for black market cigarette dealers. If the proposed bills are passed, then NY would become the most expensive US city for buying cigarettes. According to the New York Times, an estimated 1,300 people died of opioid overdoses in New York City in 2016.

That bill puts a cap on the number of licensed e-cigarette vendors, and also requires no new licenses to be given out after the open enrollment period for these licenses.

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.

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.

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