On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg signed landmark legislation making New York City the first major city in the country to raise to 21 the minimum sale age for cigarettes, cigars, and electronic cigarettes. The Mayor also signed a law that will stop tobacco industry discounting schemes, set a $10.50 price floor for a pack of cigarettes or little cigars, and crack down on cigarette tax evasion.
Dr. Kurt Ribisl conducts research in the area of tobacco control and specializes in youth access to tobacco products. We asked him what he thought about the proposed Sensible Tobacco Enforcement Act that is being considered by the NY City Council. Here’s what he said:
“Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to regulate the sales and marketing of tobacco products at New York City retailers will decrease the appeal and use of tobacco products, particularly among youth.
Theis currently considering proposed legislation that would prevent the use of coupons and other discounts and create a price floor for a pack of cigarettes. The measure would also increase penalties to retailers who sell loose or unstamped tobacco products. What do retailers think of this proposal? We asked Steve Nallen who runs a family-owned deli in the Bronx. Here’s what Steve thinks:
“My family has run a deli in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx for almost 35 years. Business is tough in in today’s economy, but my family has always played by the rules.
We were disappointed to learn that on October 8, a New York State Supreme Court judge struck down regulations from the state Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (OPRHP) that restricted tobacco use in state parks and playgrounds. In his ruling, the judge said that he was not expressing an opinion on the wisdom of the regulation, but that OPRHP just did not have the authority to make the regulation.
Ten years ago today, New York State passed the expanded Clean Indoor Air Act making all bars, restaurants and bowling alleys smoke-free. Thanks to this groundbreaking legislation, New Yorkers all across our State could enjoy a smoke-free night out with family or friends. Also, hospitality workers who had been forced to breathe in secondhand smoke during each shift could now go to work without endangering their health.