$13 a pack? NYC mayor wants highest cigarette prices in US

  • $13 a pack? NYC mayor wants highest cigarette prices in US

$13 a pack? NYC mayor wants highest cigarette prices in US

The minimum price for a pack of cigarettes would rise to $13 in New York City under a proposal backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The bill to cap the number of e-cigarette dealers in the city "is a major step to limit the use of e-cigarettes, which are risky nicotine delivery systems that can lead to nicotine and potentially drug addiction", said Council Member Cabrera. People who want to obtain cigarettes will simply buy them on the street or they will buy them elsewhere and bring them into New York City.

If it had come in the form of a tax, perhaps the money could have been used to dig a giant hole in which to throw people who go outside to smoke only to puff away in front of a enormous open window, or to create a series of wind turbines outside every office building in New York City so you can enter without contracting second-hand emphysema. An estimated 900,000 New York City residents now smoke. And the number of permits available for retailers who want to sell tobacco would be reduced from around 9,000 to around 6,000 over 10 years, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said.

De Blasio made the announcement at an anti-smoking event Wednesday. There were no trades of debt issued by New York City's Tobacco Settlement Asset Securitization Corporation as of 2:50 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

There would also be a tax on other tobacco products. A widely cited study which surveyed smokers both in New York State and nationally said that between 2010 and 2011, those making less than $30,000 per year in New York State spent 23.6 percent of annual household income on cigarettes.

The Times story does not indicate that the price increase will come in the form of a tax, which means retailers would actually get to keep the extra cigarette money once the price goes up.

Cheyenne Alexander of the Bronx said she wasn't concerned about the mayor's initiative because she is going to quit smoking, but added that she pays $8 a pack for cigarettes.

"I am trying to quit, so increasing the price would help", smoker Nichole Munisami said. Settlement payments are based on cigarette shipments.