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NYC Mayor Bloomberg Targets One More of Those Dirty Little Pleasures

 

New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg is at war with your dirty little pleasures once again. This time, he is unveiling a new public health initiative targeting tobacco products.

After his now-infamous attempt to ban sugary sodas larger than 16 oz failed, NYC’s chief now wants to restrict how tobacco products, such as cigarettes, are sold within the city. Bloomberg’s new initiative would change the way tobacco products are marketed in New York, banning sellers from keeping the tobacco products in view of customers. In other words, smoke and chew would have to be kept hidden from customers.

That raises the big question: “Is out of sight out of mind?” Or is Bloomberg out of his mind?

We will soon find out if New York City decides to give this law a chance. This law would be the first of its kind in the nation. Bloomberg says, “In many cases out of sight means out of mind. We think this measure will help reduce impulse purchases and if it does, it will literally save lives.” To back up Bloomberg’s claim, experts say there is evidence that the mere sight of tobacco products really can induce smokers to purchase them.

Some may reason that Bloomberg, a powerful billionaire with Wall Street connections, is trying to save face after his sugary soda ban failed following a New York judge’s ruling to strike it down. Bloomberg had intended to cure the city’s “obesity epidemic” by limiting the size of sodas people could purchase.

New York’s ultra-rich mayor is taking on some big industries. However, he has a lot of science on his side. Obesity is becoming epidemic not only in NYC but across the country. It is a huge health risk and costs employers and the government ghastly sums of money in health care costs. Cigarette smoking is also a large contributor to people’s poor health.

Presumably Bloomberg chooses to use his power within the New York City limits to effectively change the status quo and set a trend that will catch on in other parts of the country. Unfortunately, by not getting his anti-soda bill through, Bloomberg has revealed that, in fact, he doesn’t possess the political clout he would like. Instead he just created a heap of bad publicity for himself.

It is clear that Mayor Bloomberg is not trying to make any new friends. Rather, he is attempting to take on some of the forces that are behind two of the nation’s most serious health problems. I admire Bloomberg for wanting to help people improve their health but he is bordering on infringing on people’s rights. After all, people do pay for their soda and cigarettes.

The truth is, when it comes to marketing “visual triggers are a huge part of addiction. When people are in recovery they try to avoid visual triggers,” according to Joe Gupp, a Seattle psychotherapist and addiction specialist.

However, when it comes to something as addictive as nicotine, out of sight may not necessarily mean out of mind.

By Kevin G.

Sources:

  1. Carver, Marina. “NYC Tobacco: Will out of Sight = out of Mind?” CNN.com. Cable News Network, 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.

 

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Filed under: Addiction, Latest News · Tags: Addiction, cigarettes, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City, tobacco, tobacco advertising, tobacco products

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