NEW YORK — Smokers may have to look elsewhere for their cigarettes in 2019.
Cigarettes will be taken off the shelves of New York City pharmacies once legislation goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Mayor de Blasio banned cigarettes from pharmacies back in 2017 as part of weeping legislation designed to slash smoking rates, but drug stores were allowed to continue stocking cigarettes until their current licenses expired.
“Pharmacies are places of health and should not sell deadly consumer products,” the mayor’s office said in a statement at the time.
The ban includes supermarkets and big-box stores with a pharmacy section.
“Tobacco use remains one of the leading causes of preventable death in New York City, and reducing its availability is key to protecting the health of New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “I’m excited to see the impact that this regulation will have on the health of New Yorkers.”
About 10 percent of New Yorkers smoke. The minimum price for a pack of cigarettes in the city was raised to $13 in 2017 as part of the efforts to curb smoking use. It’s the highest minimum price in the country.
“Smoking kills. It’s is a dangerous addiction and we must do everything in our power to help New Yorkers quit smoking and stop New Yorkers from starting in the first place,” Public Advocate Letitia James said. “These laws will help improve the health of everyone in our City.”