NYC Mayor Wants Stores to Hide Cigarettes

Monday, Mar 18, 2013  |  Updated 2:01 PM PDT
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NYC Mayor Wants Stores to Hide Cigarettes

AP

Mayor Bloomberg wants stores throughout New York City to hide cigarettes behind counters, curtains or cabinets as part of his next anti-smoking effort.

"Such displays suggest that smoking is a normal activity, and they invite young people to experiment with tobacco," Bloomberg told reporters Monday.

Stores could still post cigarette ads and prices, the mayor said.

The law would apply to retail stores and requires City Council approval; it will be introduced on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the measure would get a legislative review but added that she supports the goal of the bills.

At least one tobacco maker opposes the legislation.

"We believe it goes too far," David Sutton, a spokesman for Altria, which owns Marlboro-maker Philip Morris, told NBC 4 New York.

Bloomberg, a billionaire former smoker, has made anti-tobacco efforts a major part of his mayoralty and private philanthropy.

Bloomberg banned smoking in bars and restaurants during his first term, a move that was not common at the time. He has also committed $600 million to programs that seek to curb smoking around the world.

City officials said display restrictions are already in place in other countries, including Canada, England, Iceland and Ireland.

--Melissa Russo contributed to this story 

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