NYC pharmacies banned from selling cigarettes

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By Marianne Wilson, Chain Store Age

New Yorkers can no longer run down to the corner drug store to pick up a pack of cigarettes.

As of January 1, 2019, drug stores and other stores that contain pharmacies, such as supermarkets and discounters, are prohibited from selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. The bill, which was signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017, was part of a package of anti-smoking bills that also raised the minimum price of cigarettes to $13 a pack, the highest in the nation. E-cigarette sales were banned in pharmacies last August.

“People trust pharmacies to help them stay well — they should be helping smokers quit, not the opposite,” Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Herminia Palacio said in a statement.

Many drug stores have voluntarily stopped selling tobacco products, including CVS, which stopped selling cigarettes in 2014. About 500 pharmacies still sell tobacco products, according to the city.

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