NYC government is actively working on making smoking in NYC a thing of the past.
On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and a group of city council officials told New Yorkers to expect tobacco product prices to skyrocket.
The group proposed a set of five legislative regulations aimed at drastically reducing the number of NYC smokers by 160,000 by 2020.
The new addiction-curbing measures include a cigarette and cigarillo-price hike from $10.50 to $13 – the highest price in the US. Plus, tobacco products will have a 10 percent tax for the first time.
If that wasn’t enough, another proposal will cap the number of retailer vendors in each city district by 50 percent.
So, half of your neighborhood stores will ditch cigarettes altogether, including pharmacies. If passed, that could mean no convenient cigarette stops at the local RiteAid down the block. You’ll just have to walk a little further to check the next one an avenue over.
While this isn’t the first tobacco tax hike in NYC, this is the first to bring e-cigarettes into the mix. Sorry, e-cig users, you’ll be seeing an increase in stricter regulations, too – even if you’re not smoking the nicotine.
Following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2017 budget plans, you’ll also be paying more for those with set minimum prices and taxes. Also, e-cigarette vendors will need a license to sell them.
"When it comes to New Yorker’s health, big tobacco is public enemy #1," de Blasio said in a statement. "These companies have used the same playbook for decades, and we can no longer sit by while the next generation becomes addicted.”
Although the bills don’t reach the committee floor until April 27, they’ve already got enough backing to pass.
Good news: less NYC pollution and you’ll breathe better! Bad news: You’ll have to find another convenient store with your beloved pricey cigs.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] [via TimeOut NY]