Bloomberg’s Plan Would Make Stores Conceal Cigarettes


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, fresh off a defeat in his campaign to limit large servings of sugary drinks, proposed legislation on Monday requiring stores to put cigarettes out of public sight and to increase penalties on the smuggling and illegal sales of cigarettes.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced a proposal on Monday that would require stores to keep cigarettes out of public sight.  

Mr. Bloomberg said at a news conference that the proposal would make New York the first city in the nation to keep tobacco products out of sight. He said smoking remained a leading cause of preventable death, killing 7,000 New Yorkers a year.

The proposal will go to the City Council for its consideration, a step that Mr. Bloomberg skipped when he proposed a ban on sugary drinks bigger than 16 ounces in movie theaters, restaurants and other establishments. That rule went through only the city’s Board of Health, and a state judge ruled a week ago that the board, among other missteps, had exceeded its authority. The city is appealing the ruling.

While cracking down on smoking may seem like a no-brainer given the clear link with cancer, Mr. Bloomberg’s latest proposal could meet with stiff resistance from the operators of bodegas and other small stores, where cigarettes, like bottled water and lottery tickets, account for a large percentage of sales.

In many of these stores, cigarettes are like wallpaper, the backdrop that every customer sees when going to the register to pay, and the stores could take a significant financial hit by putting them out of sight. Stores would still be able to advertise that they sell cigarettes, and could display prices.

Antismoking initiatives have been a regular feature of Mr. Bloomberg’s health-oriented administration, and after initial complaints about nanny-statism, perhaps one of his most successful and far-reaching health drives. The administration has banned smoking in almost all public spaces, including parks, plazas and beaches, as well as restaurants and bars.

He has gone after stores that sell roll-your-own cigarettes, accusing them of being fronts for evading cigarette taxes. Two of them, on Staten Island and in Chinatown, agreed to close as part of a federal consent decree.

Unlike some other changes whose effect has so far been uncertain, like the ban on artificial trans fats and the posting of calorie counts in restaurants, the consequences of the smoking limits seem fairly clear-cut.

The adult smoking rate dropped to 14.8 percent in 2011 from 21.5 percent in 2002, at the beginning of the Bloomberg administration, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said on Monday. The drop was particularly steep among young adults, which suggested, experts said, that they were not picking up the habit in the first place.

4 thoughts on “Bloomberg’s Plan Would Make Stores Conceal Cigarettes

  1. It is our right to choose whether or not we want to smoke as much as it is to choose which size soda we want to drink. What is he, our father?. Mind your own business.

  2. This man Bloomberg is bored they need more crime and corruption so he has better things to do to earn his high salary. Or he doesn’t know how to fix the problem of the economy, debt and jobs so he does this sheet to show he is earning that large salary.

    1. We have plenty of crime and corruption, mostly committed by his “…own Army, in the NYPD…” and his business cronies. All Pee Wee cares about is implementing his personal agenda upon NYC and the entire USA.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published.