New York’s Nanny Mayor Michael Bloomberg, after having his big soda ban hosed by a Federal judge, is laying out another plan for the city to force New Yorkers to make good health choices: He wants to hide all of the tobacco products in the metropolis.
Bloomberg said a new law he proposed on Monday would “prohibit display of tobacco products” in most retail shops.
“Such displays suggest smoking is a normal activity and invite young people to experiment with tobacco.”
A separate law would crack down on black market sales of cigarettes smuggled into the city to avoid crippling taxes.
“These laws would protect New Yorkers, especially young and impressionable New Yorkers,” Bloomberg said, adding that youth smoking is on the rise with nearly 8 percent of young people sparking up.
The National Association of Tobacco Outlets, a tobacco retailer trade group, predicts that courts will strike down laws requiring hidden tobacco if they are passed.
“Retailers are responsible business people that go to great lengths to prevent sales to minors, and there are First Amendment protections that extend to advertising,” said Tom Briant, executive director of the group. “You’re talking about a basic right under the Constitution. If you do this with cigarettes and tobacco products, what else is going to have to be out of view? Wine and spirits? It’s a very slippery slope.”