New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to drop a bill that would have required stores to keep cigarettes out of sight, according to The New York Times. Bloomberg still hopes to raise the legal smoking age to 21.
Administration officials say the display ban was dropped because of a debate over e-cigarettes. Others told the newspaper Bloomberg decided to remove the measure from a package of anti-tobacco legislation because of fierce opposition from retail stores, and because it was likely to meet a strong constitutional challenge in court.
The City Council is likely to vote on the rest of the measures, which would raise the smoking age, as well as ban the sale of discounted tobacco products.
The proposal on hiding tobacco products was designed to discourage smoking among young people. It would have required stores to keep tobacco products in drawers, cabinets, behind a curtain, under the counter, or in other hidden areas. Shops would not have been allowed to accept cigarette coupons or honor discounts.