UPDATE OCTOBER 2013: This bill has been dropped and will not be voted on at this time.

What is in the law?

1.  Display Ban: Prohibit the display of tobacco products or tobacco product packing by all retail dealers of tobacco products (convenience stores, gas stations, new stands, bodegas, etc.)

  • Tobacco products (which include, but are not limited to, any cigar, little cigar, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, snus, bidi, snuff or dissolvable tobacco product) must be stored out of public view, except during a purchase by an adult consumer or restocking by a store employee
  • Products can be kept in cabinets, drawers, under the counter, behind a curtain or in any other concealed location
  • This provision does not apply to tobacco product advertising

2.  Adult-only Tobacco Store Age Restrictions: Update the age restriction for retail tobacco stores, making it so that no person under the age of 18 is allowed in the store, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

  •  The display ban provision does not apply to ‘retail tobacco stores’ (Cigar stores, discount cigarette stores)

3.  Penalties: Violations will result in civil penalties of $1000 for a first offense in a five year period, $2000 for a second, and $5000 for a third or subsequent violation within five years.

Example of a retail tobacco display

What does the research say?

  • 61% of New Yorkers surveyed support keeping tobacco products out of customers’ view
  • A study of 11-15 year olds in England showed that exposure to tobacco display increase the likelihood that youth will start smoking
  • The odds of ever smoking doubled for youth who visited show on a daily basis
  • An earlier study in the U.S. found, that among students who visited stores with tobacco retail advertising more frequently, 29% initiated smoking, compared to only 9% among those who reported visiting stores less than twice a month.  This study provided evidence that exposure to retail advertising is a risk factor for smoking initiation.
  • Greater exposure to retail marketing and promotions also moves youth from experimentation to becoming an establish smoker.
  • Analysis after the display ban took effect in Ireland showed the average cost to comply with the display ban was $433(USD).  Only 22% of stores had to install a new storage unit.
  • In Canada the number of convenience stores actually increased by 1.9% after the ban took effect and it was found to have no long term negative effect on sales.
  • Following a 2010 ban on POS tobacco displays in Western Australia,researchers found a 30% drop in spontaneous tobacco purchases compared to before implementation of the ban.
  • 80% of NYC retailers devote the majority of the area behind the checkout counter to the display of tobacco products.(NYC Health Department’s Vital Signs Report)
  • The average NYC tobacco display shows 196 cigarette packs (NYC Health Department’s Vital Signs Report)

Strong Public Support for Display Ban

A poll conducted by Quinnipiac University in April 2013 shows strong support for Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed legislation to restrict the display of tobacco products in stores. The poll, released on April 11, shows that 68% for voters in NYC favor the proposal; only 30% oppose it. The display ban received broad support with the majority of voters favoring the proposal across gender, race, age, political affiliation and borough location. These results are consistent with findings from The Tobacco Behavior and Public Opinion Survey (2009, 2010) which showed increasing support for keeping tobacco products out of customers’ view from both smokers and non-smokers.



Next Steps:

Read about the other bills: 1) Sensible Tobacco Enforcement  2) Minimum Legal Age to Purchase
Watch the NYC Council Health Committee Hearing or read the transcript
Read the Committee Report and all testimony (part 1 and part 2) from the hearing


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