Brooklyn Patch reports: The Nanny State strikes again. In an effort to cut down the number of NYC smokers by 160,000 within the next three years, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced legislation Wednesday afternoon that would raise the minimum price on a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13 — “the highest price floor in the nation,” the mayor said.
The new package of five anti-smoking bills, if approved by the City Council, would also make it harder to sell e-cigarettes in the city by imposing the same tight licensing restrictions on e-cig sellers as are currently imposed on cigarette sellers.
One of the bills in the package, Bill 1527, would ban all city pharmacies from selling tobacco products — and would make it almost impossible for any new business to do so as well. The city would achieve this by setting caps for tobacco retailer licenses in each of the city’s community districts that are lower than the current number of sellers.
De Blasio compared Big Tobacco to a serial killer “convincing young people in droves to partake in e-cigarettes” at a dramatic press conference Wednesday at the American Heart Association’s headquarters in Midtown. Read more at the Brooklyn Patch.