Take a Stand Against Tobacco For Our Kids

Call Your City Council Member Today!

Nearly 950,000 New Yorkers use tobacco, including 15,000 public high school students, one-third of whom will die prematurely as a direct result of smoking. Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death, killing approximately 12,000 people per year. The New York City Council is considering three pieces of legislation that combined will dramatically reduce tobacco use. 

 

To find your elected officials, please enter your ZIP Code. If you live in a split district, you may need to enter your full address. Your City Council member's phone number will be provided once your district is determines.

 
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Use the following Script in your call:

Hello my name is __________.  As your constituent, I am deeply concerned that New York City is not doing enough to prevent the 12,000 lives that are lost each year to tobacco related illness. I am asking you to stand up to the tobacco industry. There are three proposals that I would like you to support:

  • Intro 1544-2017     
  • Intro 1547A-2017      
  • Intro 1131-A-2016

Please take a stand against the tobacco industry and for our kids.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Intro 1547-A-2017--Establish a cap on licensed tobacco retail outlets

  • In far too many neighborhoods, tobacco retail outlets can be found on nearly every corner and every block and widespread availability of tobacco in our communities dangerously normalizes tobacco use;
  • There are nearly 9,000 licensed tobacco retail outlets citywide which is 3 times more than the top 10 corporate chain stores, 3 1/2 times as many pizzerias (Approx.2500), 5 times as many public K-12 schools (2,619) and 29 times as many Starbucks (307); More than two-thirds of licensed tobacco retailers are within 1,000 feet of a school in New York City; 
  • Establishing a cap on the number of tobacco retail outlets will reduce the number of outlets where community members can access or be exposed to deadly tobacco. In addition to improving health of the entire population, establishing a cap protects low income communities and communities of color that have disproportionately high numbers of tobacco retail outlets in their neighborhoods, as well as disproportionately higher smoking rates; 
  • Through a process of attrition of stores with licenses that are either revoked through normal processes, or by licenses that are not renewed, a cap will gradually reduce the number of tobacco retail outlets; and
  • Reducing the number of locations where tobacco can be legally purchased will also help drive down illegal tobacco sales. Limiting the legal locations will allow law enforcement to focus their efforts on a smaller number of outlets and ultimately drive down illegal tobacco sales.

Intro 1544-2017--Increase the minimum price of tobacco and establish a tax on non-cigarette tobacco products

  • Regular, significant increases in the retail price of cigarettes reduces the number of people who begin smoking and increases the number of smokers who quit;
  • Studies have shown that for every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes, there is a 4 percent reduction in overall cigarette consumption and a 6.5 percent reduction in youth consumption; 
  • Low-income adults, youth, and pregnant women are especially likely to quit or reduce their smoking when the price increases; Increasing the minimum per pack price or the tax on tobacco will both accomplish this goal;
  • Unfortunately, New York City does not have the authority to increase the cigarette tax on its own;
  • When different types of tobacco products cost different rates, lower-cost products become more readily available;
  • To effectively raise the price of tobacco NYC must increase the minimum price of cigarettes, establish minimum prices for ALL tobacco products and establish a tax on other tobacco products; 
  • Setting minimum prices on all tobacco products and establishing a tax on all tobacco products at an equivalent rate will have a significant impact on tobacco use. Tax parity ensures that more tobacco users quit instead of switching to a cheaper product; and
  • While illicit tobacco sales are a problem, the overwhelming majority of tobacco sales are done legally and no amount of illicit sales change the fact that increasing the cost of tobacco reduces use. Setting minimum prices on all tobacco products and establishing a tax on all tobacco products alongside establishing a cap on tobacco retail outlet licenses will drive down illicit sales along with smoking rates.

Intro 1131-A-2016--Restrict tobacco sales in pharmacies

  • Tobacco-free pharmacies reduce access to all tobacco products, which will help prevent kids from forming a lifelong addiction as well as help support those who are coming to the pharmacy for help quitting; 
  • While cigarette sales overall are declining, they are increasing in pharmacies;It is a contradiction for pharmacies to be a facilitator of health and wellness while selling cigarettes and tobacco products; and 
  • Selling these products side-by-side helps to normalize tobacco use, and serves to further obscure the deadliness of these products.