NYC Raises Minimum Cigarette Price, Will Cut Number of Retailers

 

In its continued effort to get New Yorkers healthy and away from cigarettes, the New York City Council has passed a bill that raises the minimum price and will restrict tobacco sales across the city. 

The bill passed on Wednesday raises minimum cigarette prices from $10.50 to $13.00 a pack, will cut the number of licensed retailers of tobacco by 50% over the next 10 years, and bans the sale of tobacco products from pharmacies.

At the moment 550 pharmacies in the NYC-area sell tobacco, including drugstore chain Duane Reade ( WBA). CVS ( CVS), which also has a strong presence in New York, was ahead of the game and  stopped selling tobacco products nationwide back in 2014. So far Duane Reade/Walgreens Boots Alliance has not made a comment on the bill's passing, which will affect its ability to sell tobacco in its stores in the future, and no new licenses are being issued for the sale of tobacco until the 50% reduction rate is reached. 

Other smaller additions to the bill include, creating a separate license for e-cigarettes (that will only be open for enrollment for a short time), and requires large residential buildings to create and display smoking policies to counteract secondhand smoke. 

Almost 15% of all adults in NYC smoke cigarettes. The Health Department has stated the bill could help lower the rate another 12%.  

 

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