NYC plan would keep tobacco products out of sight
NEW YORK — Cigarettes would have to be kept out of sight in New York City stores under a first-in-the-nation plan unveiled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday, igniting complaints from retailers and smokers who said they've had enough with the city's crackdowns.
Shops from corner stores to supermarkets would have to keep tobacco products in cabinets, drawers, under the counter, behind a curtain or in other concealed spots. Officials also want to stop shops from taking cigarette coupons and honoring discounts, and are proposing a minimum price for cigarettes, below what the going rate is in much of the city now, to discourage black market sales.Jesus H. Tap-Dancing Christ on a pogo stick. The problem isn't people seeing cigarettes, you nitwit. The problem, honestly, at this point is that you've made smoking so vehemently anti-culture that it has swung back around to cool. The more you push it into the background and try to hide it away, the more you're going to make young people WANT to smoke again.
I don't know what's more frightening. Does Bloomberg honestly feel that by hiding cigarettes under counters, that smokers will just magically give up smoking? Kids will forget that they want to smoke? Hasn't he raised the price so high with taxes that only the very rich can afford to smoke in NYC? Or is this just another "I'll do it because I'm the king and I can" kinda things, where the most ridiculous suggestions are tossed out under the guise of "FOR TEH CHILDRENZZZ!!!" just to see what NEW infringements can be made?
I suspect it's the latter. I also suspect that by making cigarettes the new pr0n, Bloomberg is going to single-handedly cause a rise in smoking unseen for the past two decades. NYC, a place crying for hipsters, is suddenly creating a demand for a product on the wane. Make it counterculture to smoke - to the point of having to put all cigarettes in a plain plastic bag and hide them away - and you'll see hipsters coming out of the woodwork to start puffing away on a Marlboro.
Then again, giving hipsters lung cancer isn't the worst idea Bloomberg has concocted...
That is all.
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(image courtesy of Robb Allen)