New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday announced a pair of legislative initiatives aimed at curbing smoking, particularly among the city’s youth.
The first bill – the “Tobacco Product Display Restriction” – would require retailers to keep tobacco products out of sight. A companion piece – named “Sensible Tobacco Enforcement” – is aimed at curbing “illegal cigarette smuggling.”
If approved, retailers would be mandated to keep tobacco products in a drawer, cabinet or otherwise out of sight, except when an adult is making a purchase or during restocking. Should the City Council approve the measure, New York would be the first city with such a regulation.
“New York City has dramatically lowered our smoking rate, but even one new smoker is one too many – especially when it’s a young person,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Young people are targets of marketing and the availability of cigarettes and this legislation will help prevent another generation from the ill health and shorter life expectancy that comes with smoking.”
Neither bill impacts advertising for sellers, the mayor’s office said.
“We know that smoking is dangerous, deadly, addictive and without a single benefit,” Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs said in a statement. “As public health leaders we owe it to adults and young people alike to do everything we can to prevent New Yorkers from starting to smoke, and helping those who want to quit.”