First it was super-sized sugary drinks. Now it is cigarettes.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday he wanted to make stores conceal tobacco products under counters and behind curtains, in his latest crackdown on public-health nasties, NBC News reported.
The proposed legislation would be the first of its kind in the United States and has received early backing from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Quinn was quoted as saying she was “very, very open” to the mayor’s proposal.
“It’s something that the mayor’s requested we have hearings on, which we will do,” Quinn told reporters.
Last week’s state court decision to strike down Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary beverages does not appear to have deterred the mayor from his crusade to improve the health of New Yorkers.
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“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 told a news conference on Monday.
“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.”
The WSJ said the legislation would be introduced in the City Council this week.
The law, which would make it illegal for retailers to publicly display cigarettes, drew immediate criticism from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets.
“You’re talking about a basic right under the Constitution. If you do this with cigarettes and tobacco products, what else is going to have to be out of view? Wine and spirits? It’s a very slippery slope," Tom Briant, executive director of the industry group representing 27,000 stores nationwide, told NBC News.
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