New York City to hike price of cigarettes

- The price of a pack of cigarettes will go way up in New York City next year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed legislation aimed at cutting down on the number of smokers while cutting the number of places where they can buy tobacco.

The minimum price of a pack is going from $10.50 to a whopping $13 – the highest in the country. De Blasio said the price increase is part of an effort to cut the number of smokers by 160,000 people by the year 2020, a 6 percent decrease. About 900,000 New York residents are cigarette smokers, health officials estimate.

The city's anti-smoking legislation also includes tighter restrictions on e-cigarettes, reduces the number of tobacco retailers, and has a 10-percent tax on other tobacco products.

While anti-smoking advocates herald the initiatives, at least one smoker told Fox 5 that he and scores of smokers will simply pay the new cost when it goes into effect in June 2018.

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