March 18th, 2013
04:25 PM ET
2 years ago

Bloomberg explains new push against tobacco

(CNN) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said his latest push to keep tobacco products out of sight is an attempt to de-glamorize the appeal of the product for kids and teenagers.

"Smoking is going to kill these kids," he said Monday on CNN's "The Lead" in an interview with Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper. "It's going to leave them with not the great career prospects that you'd like, not the education that you'd like."

The mayor said they're trying to dissuade customers from viewing cigarettes as "normal."

"Cigarettes are not a normal product," he added. "They're a product that kills the people that use it. And there are very few products like that."

Bloomberg announced the public health initiative earlier Monday, a week after a New York judge invalidated the city's ban on sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.

The new tobacco legislation is made up of two bills: One that would require retailers to keep tobacco products hidden in stores, another would increase penalties for retailers who sell tobacco without a license or fail to pay tobacco taxes. It would also prohibit the sale of discounted tobacco products.

The three-term mayor said Monday the new bills are designed to continue New York City's record in reducing smoking.

"After New York City banned smoking, which we got a lot of grief about, I will say, I got a lot of one-fingered waves, as I would describe them, when I marched by bars on St. Patrick's Day, for example," he said. "Today, you march by a bar on St. Patrick's Day and everybody seems to love you."

New York City passed the Smoke Free Air Act in 1988, when smoking was banned in public restrooms and taxicabs. The law was amended in 2002, when smoking in indoor areas, including restaurants and bars, was banned. Additionally, in 2011, Bloomberg signed a bill banning smoking in many public places, including New York City's parks and public beaches.

Bloomberg has become known among critics as a nanny-state politician for his drives against certain products, including the oversized sugary drinks and plastic foam containers.

Asked if he's concerned that the backlash could ultimately hurt his cause, Bloomberg said "anything but the beverage companies can see that there's a train coming at them down the tunnel."

"It's not the light at the end of the tunnel," he added.

Talking about the drinks, Bloomberg said all the city is trying to do is "educate people."

"If you want to buy 32 ounces, you can do it, you just have to take it back to your seat in two 16 ounce cups. And if you want 64, you've got to take it back in - in four 16 ounce cups," he said. "But hopefully, that will remind you that it's probably not the best thing for you."

– CNN's Marina Carver contributed to this report.


Filed under: Michael Bloomberg • New York • The Lead
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "Cigarettes are not a normal product," he added. "They're a product that kills the people that use it. And there are very few products like that."
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yep! Just like alcohol kills people. I never heard of marijuana killing people. The country as a whole should follow Colorado and Washington's example.

    March 18, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. John

    People should have the right to smoke and drink sugary drinks...American taxpayers should have the right to NOT pay for the additional $3500 per year that it costs for smokers/Obese to get insurance since these 2 factoids are fully or partially responsible for 60% of all healthcare costs. Anything reasonable that reduces smoking and obesity should be used, including taxation, short of taking away reasonable rights to take part in these 2 destructive behaviors.

    March 18, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Thomas

    "From my cold dead hands"

    My Guns , my Viagra , my Big Gulp and now my Cigarets .

    Marco Rubio / Sarah Palin 2016

    March 18, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. Mel

    There is something very disturbing about Michael Bloomberg. On one hand I see his point in trying to reduce the ill effects obesity and tobacco use. On the other hand, where does his intervention in to the day to day lives of normal people stop?
    I guess part of my concern comes from him eliminating the two term-limit for mayor in New York City. Frankly, I am shocked that the people of New York have let him get away with that. There is no doubt that Bloomberg has been successful in his business and political career. He seems to have an intense desire for money and power. I am OK with that to a certain point. But I think he gone past that point and he has now entered the realm of where he desires to CONTROL those around him.
    If Mayor Bloomberg ventures into the heartland where the real Americans live, he may find that some people push back.

    March 18, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. The Mayor of Medinah

    I am going to go pick up a 40 oz of Miller lite and think about this for a minute or two.

    March 18, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. The Mayor of Medinah

    I think the Czar of New York should proclaim that cigs be $500.00 a carton / $50.00 a pack, that should slow down the sales of cigs in the city

    March 18, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "If Mayor Bloomberg ventures into the heartland where the real Americans live, he may find that some people push back."

    Or, he might just find a gaggle of bad-toothed mulletheads living in trailor parks who watch Faux Noise on a 5" black and white television all day on their "porch" (i.e., under the retractable awning) while sipping warm skunked Schlitz and repeating their daily mantra that they are "realer" Amurikans than the rest of the country because they've never seen an ocean and were "smart enough to stop all that book learnin' before they turned me inter a librul....hay maw, how's the still lookin?"

    Seriously. Enough with the "real" crap.

    March 18, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. moose

    Its very clear this jerk has nothing to do all freaking day, what a waste

    March 18, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Smacky Smooth

    Has anyone told this pimp that he will NOT be in office forever? Bloomberg is emulating the villian/leader in Demolition Man. Watch out NY, next he will implement date night, when your kids can date, what color of socks to wear in public. I forsee a mandates on how and how often you may brush teeth, fines for those "obese", maybe even public humiliation for those who drive cars under $15,000.00 in cost. THE EMPORER IS NOT WEARING CLOTHES.

    March 18, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Reef

    My friend never smoked, and he lived to be 456 years old, but then someone blew second hand smoke into his face, and he keeled over.

    March 18, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. graham

    People have a right to wreck their health. Read the D of I.

    March 18, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. pinkfloyd43

    Wonder what's next for this guy! Wake up folks of NY and get rid of this guy. Before you know it there will be laws against pretty much everything!

    March 18, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Smacky Smooth

    Sniffit, at least we do not need a little twerp with a Napolean complex telling us what we may purchase for our porch parties. Also a woman my choose to feed her child formula if she has complications breast feeding. If not wanting to cowtow to a little simpleton who thinks himself a Messiah of sorts, then I will gladly take to drinking Schlitz (although I prefer Guiness), go camping in my trailer, and enjoy what is left of my rights as an American (apparently, spelling is only an optional course in your Ivory Tower schools). Wow, you are an educated Bigot...whoop te do. A real Niezche of the blog.

    March 18, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. barbarianofgor

    Republicans... Pure moralist panderers. Push for "Moral" stuff to pretend they are anything other than "The party of the 1%"... The party is supposed to be about the maximum freedom possible in a Republic, hence the name. But all they are good for is bailing out the rich who sure like "Corporate Welfare" while dis-assembling the country to pay for it, but whoops when a non-billionaire tries to start a business he finds out the markets are blocked or monopolized, defended by the Republicans who ship labor overseas at a LOSS then get "Tax breaks and subsidies".

    Hypocrites and liars.
    Vote them out.

    They aren't going to protect anything, unless you are a billionaire.

    March 18, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Mel

    @Sniffit

    "If Mayor Bloomberg ventures into the heartland where the real Americans live, he may find that some people push back."

    Or, he might just find a gaggle of bad-toothed mulletheads living in trailor parks who watch Faux Noise on a 5" black and white television all day on their "porch" (i.e., under the retractable awning) while sipping warm skunked Schlitz and repeating their daily mantra that they are "realer" Amurikans than the rest of the country because they've never seen an ocean and were "smart enough to stop all that book learnin' before they turned me inter a librul....hay maw, how's the still lookin?"

    Seriously. Enough with the "real" crap.

    =================================
    The way you just described some Americans reminds of the way bigots used to describe African-Americans, essentially as "lazy and stupid".
    Congratulations, you are now a bigot.

    March 18, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Frank

    Guns kill people – ban them. Cigarettes kill people, ban them, soda kills people, ban it. When will people realize these liberals simply want to strip us of our freedoms, and control every aspect of our lives?

    March 18, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. knklhead

    I think this is common sense. The cancer industry has enjoyed every minute of its "you must be an adult" advertising campaign that effectly makes the youngsters even more interested in smoking. Keep them out of site doesn't harm anyone, you just need to ask for your brand. I like it.

    March 18, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. Bah

    It's a bit much, but he's gotta know he can't take away freedoms of those who wanna get fat, get cancer, get shot, etc so the rest of us have to end up for them.... I guess the extension of 'freedom isn't free'?

    March 18, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. Bah

    It's a bit much, but he's gotta know he can't take away freedoms of those who wanna get fat, get cancer, get shot, etc so the rest of us have to end up paying for them.... I guess the extension of 'freedom isn't free'?

    March 18, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. colin in Florida

    Personally, I don't think that tobacco companies should be allowed to advertise at all.

    March 18, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Bill

    The people in New York City need to recall this idiot.

    March 18, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. bdchadw

    Bloomberg's got the right idea ... he needs to change his approach ... cramming things down people's throat only makes the people angry and reluctant to do so ... proving to people "why" he's trying to cram things down people's throat would be the better way to go. Not saying that it will work ... people will do what people want to do ... afterall, that is their right .. and privilege.

    March 18, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  23. Snidely DooRight

    Prove you are for health. Rescind the government tax on cigarettes and show you can live without the blood money.

    March 18, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Nightscope

    Alright! You want your Big Gulp's, your smokes of all brands, your alcohol laced drinks and the other items making disease of body and mind a topic of nightly news. That's fine. From here on out if you want to partake in these proven life shortening practices, do so with the knowledge that you will be paying more for health and life insurance. Your freedom to choose needs to be adhered to, however; when you choose to live like this don't expect the rest of us to pick up the tab. Pay your own way through higher prices, and taxes if necessary, but leave the rest of us alone. We'd like to live our lives and not have to carry a part of your water for you. Be that rugged individual you've wanted to be. Take responsibility for you actions, by picking up your own check.

    March 18, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Joe

    This guy is like a overly conservative christian preacher in a southern small town. He really think his sense of rightousness and morality is the only way to view the world. He believe he knows what is best, just like the leaders of Islam do for their followers. He is as no different than any leader of a middle eastern country. Next time people want to be critical of the Middle East, try looking in our own back yard.

    March 18, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
1 2 3