Still smarting from his humiliating defeat in court (pending appeal) to ban "large sugary drinks" (because just like in Cyprus nobody can possibly conceive of opening ten €100K accounts instead of one for €1 million, and nobody will buy two 16 oz drinks instead of one 32 oz), Mayor Bloomberg has set his sights on his next nanny state crusade: a proposal banning retail stores from displaying cigarettes as part of his effort to reduce smoking rates in the city. From Reuters: "Bloomberg, who has taken aggressive steps to curb smoking in public places and promote health with various restrictions on restaurants, plans to introduce to the City Council on Wednesday two bills that would require retailers to keep cigarettes in a drawer or other concealed location. "Young people are targets of marketing and the availability of cigarettes, and this legislation will help prevent another generation from the ill health and shorter life expectancy that comes with smoking."
It appears that in the billionaire mayor's head, it is the "prominent" display of cigarettes in retail stores that make young people start smoking. Perhaps if Mayor Mike is so concerned about young impressionable people inhaling carcinogens, he will finally enact prohibition to (ab)use EBT cards for cigarette purchases, not to mention paying for booze and lap dances with food stamps. But then again, those are potential votes, and nobody wants to lose a key block of one's electorate.
More from Reuters:
Stores would still be allowed to advertise and display pricing information for the tobacco products they sell, but the actual products would have to be hidden from public view except during a sale or during restocking.
The legislation would also increase the penalties on stores that illegally resell cigarettes smuggled in from states with lower tobacco taxes and would prohibit retailers from redeeming discount coupons on tobacco sales.
Bloomberg expects to have the council's support, although a vote was not expected immediately, a spokeswoman for the mayor said.
New York City already bans smoking in most offices, restaurants, bars, parks and beaches. Bloomberg has also taken steps to curtail the use of trans fats and salt in the city's restaurants. Last week a court struck down his attempt to limit the size of sugary drinks.
There will be, of course, exemptions:
Tobacco specialty stores, already banned from admitting customers under the age of 18, would be exempt from the requirement on the display of cigarettes.
And while this particular Bloomberg idea may not appear too confiscatory on the surface, one by one, more individual liberties are being subsumed by the great Orwellian monster, all in the name of the "greater good."
How long before all US deposits are involuntarily handed over, read confiscated, to a greater, and wiser, power? After all who knows better how to allocate saved capital and personal wealth than the Great American State?