But Vote Expected This Week On Raising Smoking Age From 18 To 21, Report Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Bloomberg administration has dropped piece of legislation that would have kept cigarettes out of sight in New York City stores, according to a published report.

The administration said the reason for dropping the proposed new rule was an unresolved debate about electronic cigarettes, according to a Sunday New York Times report. But others speculated that soon-to-retire Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided not to go forward with the measure because it would hit a major constitutional challenge.

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The ban, which would have been the only one of its kind currently in the U.S., was aimed at discouraging young people from smoking. Tobacco products would be required to be kept in cabinets, drawers, under the counter, behind a curtain or in any other concealed location.

But convenience store owners feared it could affect their business by potentially leaving customers uncertain whether the shop carries their favorite brand and making them wait while a proprietor digs out a pack.

A similar law has been in place in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec since 2008.

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Meanwhile, the City Council is expected to take up other legislation on tobacco products this week, including proposal that raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21, the Times reported.

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