Contentious bill likely to drive smokers to black market

Thursday, August 31, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

smoking cigarette closeupNew York City's efforts to curb smoking may do more harm than good.

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently signed legislation raising the minimum price for a pack of cigarettes to $13 in New York City. Health Department officials said the hike from $10.50 would make New York City the most expensive place in the nation to purchase cigarettes.

"The idea is that it will get people to smoke less," acknowledges Jeff Stier, a New Yorker working for the National Center for Public Policy Research. "The lesson not learned is that the higher the tax, the more incentive there is for people to go to the black market."

Stier tells OneNewsNow that this type of black market exchange is already quite common in the Big Apple, where an estimated 900,000 of the city's 8.5 million residents currently smoke.

Stier

"I know people who actually do it, who go visit family [in NYC] and come back with a trunk load of cigarettes to sell," Stier continues. "The problem is those cigarettes are getting into the hands of youth, especially disadvantaged youth."

Similar to those in San Francisco and Philadelphia, the new price hike of $13 per pack will include taxes, and is part of a package of NYC anti-smoking bills that will go into effect on June 1, 2018. Another bill in that package will gradually reduce by half the number of licenses issued to tobacco retailers.

teen smoking e-cigarette 2According to Stier, e-cigarettes and their retailers were included in this new bill, even though these products help people kick their use of regular cigarettes.

"They're going to cut the number of sales licenses in half," he says. "So they're going to make it harder to get these products that people use to quit smoking."

Finally, Stier voices concern that these new bills would not only increase usage in disadvantaged youth, but also cause a significant loss of NYC revenue to the black market and online sales of e-cigarettes.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Has the death of a loved one ever made you question your Christian faith?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Powerful earthquake hits central Mexico, collapses buildings
Maria on track for Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico
Trump at U.N.: NK's 'rocket man' on a suicide mission
Israeli PM praises Trump's speech
Hamas invites Abbas to resume control of Gaza
Senate confirms Trump pick for solicitor general
Michigan doctor charged with genital mutilation wins release

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Is a 'cops and robbers'-themed party racist?
Historically illiterate blacks
Atheists threaten to sue every school district in Arkansas
Check the data, not the media narrative: Police violence against black men is rare (1)
Another city, another riot

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
2nd Vote: Fight 'hate' label with your wallet

cash 100-dollar billA controversial organization now facing a lawsuit for slapping a "hate" label on conservative groups is enjoying the support of numerous corporate donors.