03/27/2013 10:10 am ET Updated Mar 27, 2013

Bloomberg Cigarette Plan Seeks To Raise Minimum Price, Ban Tobacco Coupons

While Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to keep tobacco products out of sight from customers at New York city stores was met with mixed reviews last week, another section of the anti-smoking proposal, that may render even heavier consequences for tobacco retailers, seemed to fly under the radar.

The New York Times Wednesday highlights how Bloomberg's initiative seeks to raise the minimum price of a cigarette pack to $10.50. Additionally, it also prohibits the use of coupons or similar discounts for tobacco products.

A price regulation for cigarettes would be the first of its kind.

New York state already imposes the highest tax on cigarettes in the country at $4.35 per pack, with the city adding on another $1.50 on top.

Many experts believe the key to reducing smoking is raising the price of cigarettes.

A study conducted by University of Illinois, Chicago concluded that placing a higher price on tobacco products was "very effective" and that taxes are "likely to be the single most effective policy option for reducing the public health toll from tobacco."

But as evidenced in the past, both cigarette retailers and consumers have proved sneaky in evading such steep prices.

In fact, 60 percent of all cigarettes sold in New York are actually smuggled in through other states.



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