News Column

N.Y. Retailers Say Tobacco Restrictions Will Hurt Business

August 12, 2013
Businesses claim that restrictions on cigarettes could lead to job losses.
Businesses claim that restrictions on cigarettes could lead to job losses.

A survey of New York City retailers that sell cigarettes found that if new restrictions on cigarettes are passed by the city, they will have to fire employees.

Pollsters with the tobacco industry-backed "Save our Stores Coalition" asked 100 retail owners and managers about the New York City Council's plan to ban the display of cigarettes inside stores and found 70 percent said the plan would ruin their business, the New York Post reported Sunday.

Fifty-six percent of respondents said at least 10 percent of their revenues come from cigarette sales and 55 percent of respondents said they would likely have to fire employees if they could no longer display cigarettes for sale.

"This survey proves what we know to be true: 67 percent of stores surveyed feel over-regulated by the city, and that's hurting their ability to run their business," said Nancy Ploeger, president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. "Adults have the right to be able to see the product they want to buy and redeem a coupon."

Meanwhile, other city officials said they have heard similar claims before.

"We heard similar predictions in 2003 that later proved to be wrong," the Health Department said in a statement, referring to the year a wide indoor-smoking ban went into effect. "Illegal and discounted cigarettes hurt businesses, neighborhoods and the city. The proposed bills will reduce youth smoking and give honest retailers the chance to compete."

The City Council had not yet voted on the tobacco restriction

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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