Smokers will now have to shell out more cash to light up in New York, according to a bill passed by the City Council yesterday.
The bill will push the minimum price per pack from $10.50 to $13 in an effort to force more people to kick the unhealthy habit. As an added measure, cigarettes will be banned from being sold in pharmacies around the city as well.
While the bill may be frustrating to some, it hasn’t been ineffective. ABC7 reported that a drop in smoking rates has been seen partly because of increases in the smoking tax.
And local convenience stores and bodegas know it too, balking at the bill and arguing it would chip away at revenue.
President of the NY Association of Convenience Stores Jim Calvin was especially against the legislation, stating in a report from the New York Daily News, “These measures will destroy the business investment of retailers who have been leading the effort to prevent youth access to tobacco products, and the result will be lost revenue, lost jobs and an increasing number of sales in unregulated and illegal settings.”
However, it’s likely the legislation will have no problem receiving a signature from Mayor Bill de Blasio, as he partnered with City Council members last April to announce the new measures.