(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.
Everyone is a little biggoted.
Bloomberg isn't liberal. He's a facist.
I enjoy cigarettes. Moderately. I'll grow my own tobacco if they are outlawed.
Grow Marijuana if you want to. I'm not your boss.
I'm a business owning. 80 hour a work week real american.
"from my cold dead hands"
Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
Send Bloomberg and obama to Russia where they belong.
The soda jerk strikes again
First no suigar...now, no smokes! Does this guy have nothing else to do??? As far as health care for smokers and obese...I am 62, not obese, normal blood pressure, and have smoked for 35 years. I average ttwo to three trips to the doctor each year. One for my annual physical and one for my arthritis...the other is if I catch someone else's germs!
I don't need some billionaire dictator telling me how to run my life, what to drink, not to drink, what material a box can be made of, what to smoke, not to smoke, what to eat, what not to eat. NYC is brain dead if it does not start procedures to remove this whack job before he goes much further. I cannot believe New Yorkers put up with this nonsense.
The one thing I have noticed over the past 30 years is as smoking decreased, obesity increased, so we traded one problem for another.
From a report by the Rand Corporation;
"Not only does obesity have more negative health consequences than smoking, drinking, or poverty, it also affects more people. Approximately 23 percent of Americans are obese. An additional 36 percent are overweight. By contrast, only 6 percent are heavy drinkers, 19 percent are daily smokers, and 14 percent live in poverty."
Supreme Leader is always right. Guide us Supreme Leader.
If people are dumb enough to pay 5 or 6 dollars for a package of cancer sticks, doesn't matter where you put them, they'll find them.
Exactly why big government is bad
We got red of dictators, maybe the military should invade New York with SHOCK and AWE to get red of the dictator Bloomberg. Maybe he will change the city law to get another term. New Yorkers take your life in your own hands and get red of this as-le.
I voted for Michael Bloomberg 3 times but I have to say he should really concentrate his efforts on important things like LOWERING SUBWAY FARES! Hiding cigarettes at the local 7/11 will do nothing.
If he would spend his time making sure he honors the contracts and hard work of the workers of New York instead of grandstanding on nonsense like this, it might be better. It's just a smoke screen for all the things he is not honoring in his other Mayoral obligations.
I like Bloomberg and think he means well. but to think you can micro mangae people is just silly.
Come on, Mike – relax!
Old News! Welcome to the 90s! In Canada, variety and convenience stores have been required for years to keep a curtain in front of their cigarette shelves behind their counters. Smoking still remains a problem in Canada too.
Bloomberg is an idiot and a Mussolini wannabe.
So when kids are still smoking when the cigarettes are hidden, will cigarettes need to be banned along with everything else in the universe that's bad for you?
Proof positive that politicians have too much money, too much time on their hands and to much air between their ears. Term Limit the jerks out.
What he is saying is for the good of children.. If kids don't start smoking they are more likely to be smokefree adults! What's wrong with that.. You Go Mayor Bloomburg. We need more mayors like you!!
I do not see why this is becoming a big deal. No one is stating that stores cannot sell these products and that adults who can legally buy them cannot still purchase cigarettes. However, recent studies endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics do show that when products are not visible they are not as likely to be sought after, particularly by teenagers. No one is infringing on a 35 year old's right to go into a store and buy cigarettes, they just have to ask for them. Sorry that we're making it slightly less convenient, but if this will help cut down on people smoking, then why not be in favor of it? It wlil not really affect the adult who only goes into the store to buy cigarettes, but it may decrease the purchase of the products by others. No rights are being infringed upon here.
Hiding tobacco and deglamorizing it is the way it is in Canada. Fewer people are smoking. So it seems to be working, If that's a good thing. I think it is.
This guy is TRULY insane.....
Comments here against anything remotely moral suggest why the rest of the world looks on the US as a Sodom and Gomorrah
"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?"
Gays shouldn't marry – make it illegal, gay shouldn't be allowed to adopt – make it illegal, you must say "under god" – make it a law, you must be christian – make it a law, you can't have abortions – make it illegal, When will people realize these conservatives simple want to stupid us of our rights and control every aspect of our lives?
I can get on board with this. The soda ban was ridiculous because the only person being harmed was the person who chose the large soda, but smoking harms everyone around the smoker.