NYC Hikes Minimum Cigarette Price to $13 a Pack

NEW YORK (AP/Hamodia) -
cigarettes New York
Cigarettes behind the counter of a store in new York on Monday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed legislation raising the minimum price for a pack of cigarettes in New York City to $13.

Health Department officials say the hike from $10.50 will make the city the most expensive place to buy cigarettes in the country. The $13-a-pack cost includes taxes.

The law goes into effect on June 1.

The law also imposes a new 10 percent local tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes.

The price increase is just one of seven anti-tobacco bills signed Monday. According to a statement by de Blasio, the other six bills also seek to reduce smoking by:

“capping and reducing through attrition the number of tobacco retailers citywide; creating a retail license for e-cigarettes and capping the number of e-cigarette retailers; increasing the fee for a cigarette retail dealer license; requiring all residential buildings to create a smoking policy and disclosing it to both current and prospective tenants; prohibiting smoking and the use of e-cigarettes in common areas in multiple dwellings with fewer than ten units; and banning the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies.”

The anti-tobacco bills were introduced by City Council Members Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, Fernando Cabrera, Ritchie Torres and James Vacca.

An estimated 900,000 of New York City’s 8.5 million residents currently smoke.

Opponents of the price increase say it has pushed many smokers into buying untaxed, unregulated cigarettes on the black market.