The city council plans to amend its anti-smoking ordinance to make it more difficult for people to buy cigarettes.
Among the proposals is to ban retailing cigarettes per stick, as well as on selling these on the streets, Councilor Peter T. Lavina said. This, he added, should make it difficult especially for the poor to spend their money on so-called sin products.
But the councilor said the city council would also look for ways to cushion the impact of low cigarette sales on affected street vendors.
He said a hearing would be set with these vendors, among other affected parties, noting that big retailers have already stated opposing the proposal.
"We need to listen to everyone on the issue," he said, adding that retailers had opposed the city’s 2002 ordinance banning smoking in public places such as restaurants and popular venues for meetings and leisure.
Establishments that want to have smoking areas must provide for enclosed areas and must not expose employees to smoke.