Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg opened a new front in his antismoking campaign last week when he proposed new legislation that would require stores to keep tobacco products out of sight, making New York the first city in the nation to do so.
Its companion bill, however, has the potential to be just as groundbreaking, experts on tobacco control said. Along with strengthening the penalties on retailers that evade tobacco taxes, the second bill establishes a minimum price for cigarettes and cigarillos, or little cigars, of $10.50 a pack, the first time such a strategy has been used to combat smoking. The bill also prohibits retailers from redeeming coupons or offering other discounts, like two-for-one deals.
“This is kind of a landmark set of proposals here,” said Kurt Ribisl, a professor of public health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, whose research on tobacco control influenced Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal. “For someone like me, who’s spent 18 years studying point-of-sale issues, this is kind of big.”