Bloomberg to Get Rid of Cheap Cigarettes

Cheap Cigarettes Online

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg started out a new front in his antismoking campaign last week when he suggested new law that would will need shops to remove tobacco products from shelves, making New York the first city in the USA to do so.

In addition to bettering the charges on retailers that avoid tobacco taxes, the second bill determines a the lowest price for cigarettes and cigarillos, or little cigars, of $10.50 a pack, the first time such a method has been used to fight smoking. The bill also forbids retailers from offering discounts, like two-for-one cigarette deals.

The city’s price-regulation bill would shut down the remaining means of accessibility to cheap cigarettes and little cigars, which make it easier for youngsters to try smoking, said Brett Loomis, a researcher at RTI International, a nonprofit institute that offers research and technical services to governments and businesses.

City and state taxes already add $5.85 to the price of each cigarette pack, the highest cigarette taxes in the USA. About half of all states call wholesalers and retailers for increasing the price of cigarettes by a certain percentage. The laws were usually created to protect business in small shops by avoiding large chains from marketing cigarettes below cost.

Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal, which will be taken up by the City Council, goes beyond those laws by indicating a low price. The health department said $10.50 was the median cost of the lowest-priced packs in more than 300 city shops. That, and the ban on discounts, will “thwart the tobacco companies’ power to prey on low-income and minority smokers,” Dr. Ribisl said.

David Sutton, a spokesman for Altria, parent company of Philip Morris USA, said the city should concentrate on eliminating the illegal cigarette trade, rather than further restricting retailers, who are already demanded to perform age checks on customers.

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