Smoking is going to get a lot more expensive

Smoke ’em while you can afford ’em.

The city wants to hike the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes in the five boroughs from $10.50 to $13 — a 24 percent increase.

That includes the $4.35 state excise tax, the $1.50 city tax, the $1.01 federal excise tax and the sales tax.
Speaking at the American Heart Association in Midtown, Mayor de Blasio announced a package of five bills that includes raising the minimum price to what he called the highest in the country.

The initiatives would also add a 10 percent tax on top of the sales tax on other tobacco products, cut the number of cigarette retail licenses in half and newly license the sale of electronic cigarettes.

The mayor described the bills as a war against Big Tobacco that aims to lower the smoking rate in the city by 18 percent by 2020.

As of 2015, 14.3 percent of city residents — or about 900,000 people — were considered smokers.

“When it comes to New Yorkers’ health, Big Tobacco is public enemy Number One . . . and we can no longer sit by while the next generation becomes ­addicted,” de Blasio said.

“Today we are taking a stand against these companies to not only reduce smoking and tobacco usage in New York City, but also save lives.”

The legislative effort will also seek to ban tobacco sales at pharmacies and require that property owners adopt antismoking policies in residential buildings.

The City Council is slated to hold a hearing on the measures as early as next week.

The council’s Health Committee chair, Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), said he hopes to fast-track the bills for approval before summer.

While the measures were applauded by health professionals, reps for convenience stores said small-business owners and consumers would be hit the hardest.

“It will accelerate a couple of trends that are disconcerting,” said Jeff Lenard, spokesman for the National Association of Convenience Stores. “One is creating a price disparity where it is more attractive to purchase cigarettes from ­nonlegal means, whether it’s someone with a duffel bag walking down the street or somebody else.”

The package of bills is the first major initiative that de Blasio has championed to reduce cigarette smoking since he took office in January 2014.

His predecessor, Mike Bloom­berg, was a staunch antismoking advocate and helped spark the nearly universal smoking ban in restaurants, bars and other public places.

The former mayor also established the current minium price of $10.50 for a pack of smokes and a legal fight to block tobacco companies from offering discount coupons.

Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that the Health Department had been pushing de Blasio since late 2015 to take action to reduce smoking across the city.

Asked why he waited until now to take action, the mayor said it was because the administration had been balancing priorities.

“It was a question of sequencing everything. We knew this was ­important, but we had to get it…

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