US

New York City Hikes Cigarettes To $13 Per Pack

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a roster of anti-smoking legislation Monday, including one measure which hikes the price of a pack of cigarettes to $13–the highest priced in the nation.

“We are sending a loud and clear message that we will not let their greed kill any more New Yorkers without a fight,” de Blasio said prior to a bill signing ceremony at a Brooklyn hospital. “These new laws will not only help reduce the number of smokers in our city, but also save lives.”

The seven bills de Blasio signed intend to reduce the number of smokers in the city by 160,000 in 2020.

“Even though tobacco is a leading cause of premature death across the country, Big Tobacco will stop at nothing to hook people on these deadly products,” de Blasio said.

“We are sending a loud and clear message that we will not let their greed kill any more New Yorkers without a fight. These new laws will not only help reduce the number of smokers in our city, but also save lives,” he added.

The minimum price per pack is presently $10.50, and opponents say pushing the city tax on cigarettes will just embolden those who purchase their tobacco products on the black market or in other states where cigarettes are less expensive.

The seven anti-smoking bills include requiring all retailers selling e-cigarette products to apply for and have a license to do so as well as ban smoking and using e-cigarettes in common areas in multiple dwellings with less than 10 units.

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