New York City Passes Comprehensive New Tobacco Legislation

Cigarettes, Licensing, Little cigars/Cigarillos, Minimum price, Pharmacies, Retailer Density, Tobacco21

Update: On August 9th, the NYC Council voted to pass the package of bills

On April 19th, 2017 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and council members of New York City introduced a series of new bills focusing on decreasing the number of NYC smokers. On April 27th, the NYC Health Committee debated the bills.

The new legislation will accomplish the following:

  • Ban the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies
  • Reduce the number of tobacco retailers citywide through gradually decreasing the number of tobacco retailer licenses permitted per district, setting a cap at 50% of the current number licenses. This will specifically address the oversaturation of tobacco retailers discussed in the latest American Cancer Society report entitled Oversaturated. NYC is also increasing the fee for a license from $110 to $200 for a two-year license.
  • Create a retail license for e-cigarettes, and similarly cap the number of e-cigarette retailers at half the current number after an enrollment period.
  • Raise the minimum price for cigarettes form $10.50 to $13 and set a minimum floor price for all tobacco products ($8 for up to four cigars, plus $2 for each additional cigar; $13 per pack of little cigars, $8 for smokeless tobacco, $17 for tobacco-containing shisha, and $17 for loose tobacco) with an additional 10% local tax on other tobacco products. This proposal builds on NYC’s 2013 Sensible Tobacco Enforcement law, which set the current minimum price for cigarettes and prohibited price promotions.
  • Require all residential buildings to create a smoking policy and disclose it to both current and incoming tenants

New York City was the first major metropolitan area to put Tobacco 21 regulations in place, and the state of New York is now working to make Tobacco 21 a statewide regulation. 

NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio believes that the regulations will decrease the number of smokers in the city to around 12% (from 14.3%) over the next 3 years. 

Read more details about each piece of legislation here

Learn more about the types of regulation to be implemented here: