smoking Tag All blog entries tagged as smoking Wed, 09 Jul 2014 01:44:52 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Headlines: City Proposes Higher Smoking Age

Speaker Christine Quinn yesterday announced legislation that would raise the legal age for purchasing cigarettes to 21, up from 18. The idea was originally proposed by Queens Councilman James Gennaro. Mayor Bloomberg supports the proposal, although he opposed a similar plan in 2006. His office said his position changed after seeing data from the UK showing that a higher age limit would cut smoking for among teens. Data from the journal Health Policy also found similar results.

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]]> (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Tue, 23 Apr 2013 12:52:09 +0000
NYC Council Wants To Make Legal Smoking Age 21

Lawmakers want New York City to be the first city in the U.S. to raise the legal smoking age to 21 from 18.

The law would make ban vendors from selling any tobacco products to New Yorkers under the age of 21, which Council Speaker Christine Quinn cautiously likened to the sale of alcoholic drinks.

She pointed to an 80 percent decline in drunk driving deaths after the drinking age increased in the 1980s.

Quinn stood alongside Health Department Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, fellow council memebers and anti-smoking advocates when she unveiled the new legislation today. The bill would join a group of bills also recently endorsed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg aimed at curbing New Yorkers' smoking habits.

"This can work," Quinn said during a press event at City Hall.

Quinn and advocates cited a 2011 smoking study from the United Kingdom that found a 30 percent decline in smoking among 16- to 17-year-olds after England passed a law to increase the ban to 18 from 16.

Like the English law, only retailers would be punished for selling tobacco products to those younger than 21. While the details of the bill are still being negotiatiated, Farley said that the Department of Consumer Affairs — which currently oversees the ban for those under the age of 18 — would oversee its expansion.

The amount of penalties against retailers is also being negotiatioed.

Quinn said the bill would be introduced to committee on May 2, along with other bills that would legislate how retailers can display the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products and establish a minimum price for cigarettes.

While Bloomberg spoke in favor of the two previous bills in late March, he wasn't enthusasistic about an increase in the city's smoking age when the City Council first entertained the idea in 2006.

"The best ways to reduce smoking among young people is to raise cigarette taxes because cigarette taxes have been shown to directly impact the younger people's ability to buy cigarettes," the mayor said in 2006.

In response to the Council's bill, the Mayor's office said that Bloomberg had changed his mind on the increase.

"We have cut youth smoking in half, but recently the decline has plateaued," said Samantha Levine, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office, in a statement. "You may have seen we recently proposed some other measures we had not supported before — requiring stores to remove cigarettes from public view and setting a minimum price — to try to address this. So we revisited this proposal and found new data from the UK that shows it can have an impact.”

Four states currently have laws that make the smoking age 19, and similar laws were passed in New York's Ondandaga, Nassau and Suffolk counties. Texas briefly considered increasing its smoking age to 21, but the bill stalled in late February.

]]> (Administrator) City Mon, 22 Apr 2013 17:07:53 +0000
Today's Headlines: Bloomberg Wants Retailers To Hide Cigarettes

Mayor Bloomberg introduced a bill yesterday that would force retailers to keep cigarettes out of view from customers. It would not affect advertising, which falls under First Amendment protections. Speaker Quinn said she is very open to the idea. A Health Department study found that 80 percent of stores selling cigarettes devote most of their space behind the register to tobacco displays. A British study found that simply noticing tobacco on display raised the odds kids would try smoking by threefold. A second proposed bill would raise penalties for retailers who evade tobacco taxes and create a minimum price of $10.50 per pack. Retailers complain they will lose a lot of business.

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]]> (Mike Muller) City Tue, 19 Mar 2013 11:28:22 +0000
Mayor Proposes Banishing Tobacco Products From Sight At Stores Out of sight, out of mind — that's how Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to reduce smoking rates among youth in the nation's biggest city.

Bloomberg announced today that he's going to push for new anti-tobacco restrictions, including a first-in-the-country law that would mandate retail stores hide away tobacco products except during sales to adults or when they are being restocked.

He said the bill tackles the pervasive in-store marketing of tobacco products to young people.

"New York City has dramatically lowered our smoke rate," Bloomberg said in a statement. "But even one new smoker is one too many — especially when it's a young person."

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said the adult smoking rate had decreased from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 14.8 percent in 2011. But he said "youth smoking rates have remained flat at 8.5 percent since 2007."

Bloomberg announced the new anti-tobacco push at Queens Hospital Center, where he was joined by the city's health commissioner, City Council members and leaders of groups working to reduce smoking rates.

Another bill would prohibit the sale of discounted tabacco products to create a "price floor" for cigarette packs and small cigars.

Both bills will be introduced at Wednesday's stated Council meeting.

The new public health proposals comes just days after a court's rejection of Bloomberg's signature ban on large sugary drinks.

]]> (Administrator) City Mon, 18 Mar 2013 16:31:05 +0000