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$13 a pack? NYC mayor wants highest cigarette prices in US

$13 a pack? NYC mayor wants highest cigarette prices in US

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that cigarette prices in the city would go up $2.50 to $13 which, de Blasio bragged, would be "the highest price in the country".

His bills would increase the base price for all tobacco products; lower the number of tobacco retailers via attrition; create retail licenses for e-cigs and cap the number of outlets; mandate residential buildings have a smoking policy; and forbid the sale of tobacco at drugstores. The proposed move would make NYC home to the highest-priced cigarettes in the country.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed series of measures to crackdown on tobacco use in the Big Apple. "Today, we are taking a stand against these companies to not only reduce smoking and tobacco usage in New York City, but also save lives".

Councilmen Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, Fernando Cabrera and Ritchie Torres introduced the bills, which will first be heard by the health committee on April 19 and could all pass by the summer, officials said. In 2014, Eric Garner was killed when NY police officers placed him in a chokehold while trying to arrest him for selling loosies. Creating a retail license for e-cigarettes, and capping the number of e-cigarette retailers 4.

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Many argue that increases on cigarette prices are regressive, meaning they disproportionately weigh on the poor and underprivileged.

The proposals drew ire from the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), which pointed out that illegal cigarettes are the real issue. Other anti-smoking measures de Blasio supports include banning pharmacies from selling cigarettes, requiring a license to sell e-cigarettes, and restricting licenses to sell cigarettes to half the current number. He said that he has quit and gotten back into it multiple times-calling his experience "hard"-and noted the physical effects of nicotine as well as the "mental vice that it grips you in".

April 20, is "All Acceptance Day" in New York City - a day when parents find out which Pre-K their child has been accepted to.

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