New York City Must Continue to Lead in Fighting Tobacco!
New York City is considering three pieces of legislation to build on the tremendous progress the city has made in reducing smoking, especially among kids. These bills would crack down on cheap cigarettes and stores displays of tobacco products that entice kids. Help us protect New York City kids by supporting these proposals!
Sensible Tobacco Enforcement Bill
- Increases penalties for retailers who evade tobacco taxes or sell tobacco without a license.
- Prohibits retailers from redeeming coupons or honoring other price discounts for tobacco products.
- Creates a minimum price for cigarettes and little cigars, which are virtually identical to cigarettes, at $10.50 per pack.
- Requires that cheap cigars and cigarillos be sold in packages of at least 4, and little cigars be sold in packages of at least 20. Cigars that cost more than $3 each are exempt from the packaging rule.
Tobacco Product Restriction Bill
- Prohibits the display of tobacco products at retail counters, keeping them out of view of children.
- Does not inhibit retailers ability to advertise and communicate tobacco product price and information to customers.
Raising the Age to 21 Bill
- Raises the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 in New York City.
- Tobacco use remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. and in NYC.
- 20,000 public high school students currently smoke in NYC.
Tell your council member to support these new initiatives to prohibit tobacco discounts and tobacco stores displays. They’ll help reduce NYC's smoking rates even further.
- New York City Council
We have had a lot of success reducing tobacco use rates among kids in New York City. After implementing the smoke-free indoor air law and thanks to a strong prevention program and increased tobacco taxes, our youth smoking rates declined dramatically to just 8.5%! But over the last 5 years, our progress has stalled.
There are three evidence-backed proposals on the table to spur progress once more : 1) implement a restriction on the display of tobacco products where kids can see them; 2) set minimum prices for tobacco products; and 3) prohibit the sale of tobacco products to youth under 21.
A product display restriction would ensure that tobacco products are "out of sight and out of mind,” especially for kids. This method has been used in Canada, where there was a decline in youth use rates following implementation of the law. Display restrictions are recommended by the World Health Organization and are one of the most effective ways to reduce youth smoking.
NYC should also set minimum prices for tobacco products. The tobacco industry spends millions of dollars making tobacco products appeal to price-sensitive kids, primarily via price discounts that are used by approximately 25% of NYC smokers. By banning promotional pricing and discounts and by implementing minimum prices for tobacco products, demand for tobacco products will decrease, particularly among youth.
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