Nanny Bloomberg: Hide The Tobacco
March 18, 2013 by Sam Rolley
New Yorkâ€™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.
â€śThese 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.
â€śRetailers are responsible business people that go to great lengths to prevent sales to minors, and there are First Amendment protections that extend to advertising,â€ť said Tom Briant, executive director of the group. â€śYouâ€™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? Itâ€™s a very slippery slope.â€ť