Bloomberg: Let's hide the cigarettes

March 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

NEW YORK, March 18 (UPI) -- New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Monday proposed stores that sell cigarettes be required to keep them out of sight.

Bloomberg, who recently saw his effort to ban large cups of sugary drinks get shot down by the courts, also wants City Council to jack up the penalties for the smuggling and illegal sales of cigarettes, The New York Times reported.

Bloomberg said he wants New York, where 7,000 people succumb to preventable, smoking-related deaths each year, to become the first city in the nation to require that tobacco products be kept out of sight.

The proposals continue Bloomberg's track record as a strong proponent of anti-smoking measures. His administration has banned smoking in almost all public spaces, including parks, plazas and beaches, restaurants and bars, the Times noted.

City Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley said Monday the adult smoking rate dropped to 14.8 percent in 2011 from 21.5 percent in 2002, when Bloomberg took office.

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