Many New Yorkers are increasingly witnessing the prevalence of tobacco in our communities. Unfortunately, in some of our most vulnerable areas, tobacco remains both persistent and widespread, with chronic disparities in higher tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure rates coupled with the widespread availability of dangerous tobacco products. Shockingly, numerous neighborhoods that lack healthy foods are also tobacco swamps overflowing with lethal and addictive tobacco products. The proliferation of tobacco outlets in New York City is especially concerning as it creates more opportunities for children to get hooked on tobacco. In neighborhoods swamped with tobacco, it’s easier to start using tobacco and harder to quit. To end the tobacco epidemic, we must end the spread of tobacco in our neighborhoods. New York City doesn’t require even more tobacco outlets that make it easy to access deadly tobacco products.
On August 28, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a package of tobacco legislation into law, including a cap on the number of tobacco retail outlets in each of the 59 community districts. This law will reduce the number of tobacco retailers in all NYC neighborhoods. Encouraging property owners to voluntarily prohibit tobacco retail in their commercial storefront space, as well as engaging BIDs, LDCs, and EDCs to consider the impact of tobacco tunnels on their retail attraction strategy, will supplement the City’s comprehensive tobacco control policy efforts and provide an additional opportunity to protect youth and other vulnerable New Yorkers from deadly and addictive products.
NYC Smoke-Free will continue working to end tobacco proliferation because deadly and addictive tobacco products do not belong on nearly every block and corner of our neighborhoods. Our kids have seen enough tobacco. Get more information here, to learn more about tobacco proliferation in New York State.