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NEW YORK – With the City Council mulling several anti-smoking bills pushed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Save Our Stores Coalition, a group representing almost 10,000 licensed tobacco retailers in New York City and supported by tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., is pushing back.
In Facebook ads and on a website, the group is urging New Yorkers to tell City Council members "we need leaders, not nannies" and that "raising taxes and implementing a ban on the display of tobacco products is a bad idea," according to a report by the New York Daily News.
The retailers and tobacco company are targeting anti-smoking bills before the council that would bar stores from displaying tobacco products, set a minimum price for cigarettes at $10.50 per pack, and fine stores for selling illegal untaxed cigarettes. Another bill would raise the smoking age to 21.
R.J. Reynolds’ website, Transform Tobacco, also has information on tobacco regulations nationwide, including the New York City proposals.