The city's smoking rate in 2015 was 14.3 percent, officials said, or about 900,000 people out of 8.5 million. It's an effort that's trying to decrease the number of smokers by 160,000 by the year 2020.
One of the bills would also make it illegal for 550 pharmacies and stores that contain retail pharmacies to sell tobacco products.
"As a former smoker, I know how hard it is to quit", Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said in an emailed statement.
The city wants to hike the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes in the five boroughs from $10.50 to $13. The last time a NY mayor tried to tax citizens into making healthier choices (remember Bloomberg's soda tax?), it didn't pan out so well.
Get free real-time news alerts from the New York City Patch. There is no evidence to suggest that any deaths can be attributed to e-cigarette use.
Our government should adopt the United Kingdom's Royal College of Physicians position that "the hazard to health arising from long-term vapour inhalation from the e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5 percent of the harm from smoking tobacco".
Contrary to the public health concerns that Cabrera raised, the same report said that the interest of public health is served by working to "promote the use of e-cigarettes, NRT and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking in the United Kingdom".