ibusinesslines.com June 28, 2017

NYC mayor backs proposal to raise cigarette prices

20 April 2017, 02:20 | Melissa Porter

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis charged that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policies “are hurting this city.”

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis charged that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policies “are hurting this city.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he is raising the base price of a pack of cigarettes to $13 per pack, up from $10.50.

By sheer coincidence (if you are completely ignorant to even the most basic concepts of economics), NY has the highest rate of cigarette smuggling in the country. "When it comes to New Yorker's health, big tobacco is public enemy #1", de Blasio said".

At $13, a pack in NY would cost triple one in North Dakota and be more expensive than a city sandwich or a typical cocktail.

The proposals would increase minimum price of cigarettes and other tobacco products, reduce the number of licensed tobacco retailers in the five boroughs, and ban the sale of tobacco in pharmacies.

At the current price of $10.44 a pack, NY state's cigarettes are already the most expensive in the country, followed by those in Connecticut, Hawaii and Alaska.

De Blasios' predecessor Michael Bloomberg began leading a charge to stub out smoking in the city in 2002, when the smoking rate was 22 percent. But both numbers are down significantly from 2003, when 18.3% of people in the city smoked.

Today de Blasio announced that he wants to make smuggling an even more financially lucrative option by jacking up the taxes on packs of cigarettes. Crain's NY found that fully half of the city's cigarettes are illegal, meaning their sellers avoid paying state or city taxes (or both).

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