Stossel: NY Strangles Small Business

Here in New York City lots of big businesses thrive, but little ones struggle. This is very difficult right now for a small business, is very difficult. Kamal Saleh, who runs this store was hit with thousands of dollars in fines. The first time I think is $2600. His crime? He sold three cigars for $8.89 cents. 11 cents too cheap, says New York City. His customers can’t believe it. It’s BS. Kind of stupid in the sense that If somebody’s willing to pay something. Not in New York City. Here bureaucrats say tobacco must be sold for above a minimum floor price. Why? Because anti-tobacco crusader Dr. Kurt Ribisl told the Center for Disease Control, “Very cheap products should no longer be available.” It deters children from starting smoking. You suggest this at the CDC, New York says, ah good idea! Well it’s also being considered very seriously in a number of jurisdictions in California. Why do you get to decide? No, I’m not deciding. I’m a person who studies these policies. I’ll let the policymakers decide. Why do the politicians get to decide? Cigarettes are the most lethal product ever introduced. Thanks to Ribisl’s recommendation, New York cigarette smokers now must pay at least $13 dollars a pack. People still have the ability to buy it if they so choose. Just not poor people. We see much higher smoking rates among poor people and so we need policies that are going to reduce tobacco use among poor people. I think it’s outrageous. I mean first of all, you’re in a poor neighborhood okay, and number two, a lot of people smoke cigars are elderly people, seniors. You know, where you going to charge $3 dollars and more? They choose it and the right to make your own choices is important. People are still figuring out ways to afford it. It’s not to the point where no one who’s poor is smoking. Do you know that we have over 20 tobacco retailers for every McDonald’s in the U.S.? It must be because people want that. What if you run a tobacco store? You’re just screwing them. I want to see a transition toward thinking more about healthy food and beverage because that’s gonna be a future making money. At the CDC, Ribisl testified that it should also be government policy to reduce the number of tobacco stores. We’re not interested in putting stores out of business or making people unemployed. Sounds like you are. They’re gonna find new products to sell. You’re a bully. No, I think the tobacco industry is more of a bully. When I say fork it over, you fork it over. He referred us to this ad from the FDA. Cigarettes are bullies. They are, but New York’s smoking police are worse. They use the power of the state to get their way and their tobacco rules go on for 47 pages, and this is just for tobacco. For food and refrigeration and deliveries and everything else, the New York City administrative code could be thousands of pages long. Lawyer Andrew Tilem defends store owners who get fined. You get paid in groceries and pizza? Fish and paper plates and tortillas. The rules mainly hurt little stores. It’s the big guy who basically could hire lawyers. The big business community is thriving. You see Starbucks, you see 7-Eleven, you see Walmart, you see Target, is the little guy who was trying to, you know pinch his pennies and make a dollar that has the biggest problem. Smoking hurts people. The city says, we’re just protecting people. And I’m not a smoking advocate, but I think in this country and in this city that people have the right to do the wrong thing. They ought to. We ought to. But we can’t if the health police rule our lives.

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100 thoughts on “Stossel: NY Strangles Small Business

  1. I've lived in NY State all my life so far (I want to move as soon as I'm 18), I didn't realize it was any different anywhere in the states

  2. If you disagree with these taxes, then you must also oppose government subsided healthcare. Private insurance companies will deny or charge smokers more so when smokers get cancer they get dumped on medicare. You are either responsible for your own choices or not.

  3. If smoking is so bad, why not just fucking ban it? Why are we playing these games with pricing? Oh wait, the government doesn't give two shits about people's health, they just want more money.

  4. Just take him out back and slit his throat and shoot him in the goddamn head and hanging from a God damn tree disemboweling set them on fire he's another Democrat on a little Power Trip ship them back to Africa

  5. I mean i am for freedom but this is a mixed issue for me the guy should be fined 26 k that is bull but i am into reducing smoking people will use poison but that even if it is their choice you end up paying with the walfare state in taxes.

  6. It is a question of freedom vs drug dealing. If you are for freedom then legalize all drugs and see what happens. If you wanna restrict lethal drugs then you making cigarettes expensive is a valid measurement.

  7. If the government can tell you to buy health insurance than the government can tell you how much to charge for an item.

  8. if adults want to use tobacco let them do so without interference….and let them also reap the consequences by themselves…………More government =LESS freedom

  9. This has nothing to do with wanting people to be healthier. This has everything to do with control. All of the habits that get heavily controlled are things poor people use, such as cigarettes, marijuana and alcohol. What don't you see them aggressively controlling? Cocaine, which is a rich man's drug and they often are open about smoking it. You also have people microdosing on meth and other drugs. Yeah, you get a drug bust in a run down neighborhood, but never the rich.

    You control society by making the poor dependent on you and creating an army of poor supporters by pointing the finger toward X entity as the enemy. This is how poor regimes like North Korea survive. So long as the deprived people have an enemy, they won't go after the state for their wrongdoing.

  10. This pro government goon used the typical keeping-it-out-of-the-hands-of-children argument but showed no statistical proof that the minimum price law reduces sales to minors which is already illegal. Furthermore, in order to enforce these draconian laws, the NYC police have to crack down on people who sell tobacco products in the streets illegally. It is so easy to travel to a nearby town or state to buy cheaper tobacco products with the intent of reselling them in NYC. Remember Eric Garner? That's what he did. To "protect" our health, they'll choke hold us to death!

  11. I want someone to do to these people what they have been doing to us and see if they like that shit… I don't smoke but this is absurd logic "stop kids from smoking = raise cigar prices on poor" … I love the absolute balls on these people, this dude (who's a Dr) probably never really worked a day in his life or had to compete in any way, gets to tell us all what to do & how to live. When the hell are we going to wake up and get rid of this cancer called government & stop letting these morons run our lives!

  12. Ban York state and city, and Banifornia suck. They can shove their social engineering bullshit up their collective asses.

  13. I personally wish people wouldn't smoke for their own good, but screw this politician. Private entities are totally free to conduct anti-smoking campaigns.

  14. Stossel turns everything into a freedom issue but in fact we have the freedom to vote to oust the politicians that support anti-smoking initiatives and close the bureaucracies that come up with these rules.. We don't because Americans including smokers don't want our kids smoking nor do we want to pay for the health care for addicted smokers. That's not the freedom Stossel is interested in because there's no headlines in it, no victims of brutal government an no corporate backers to subsidize that rant! What is this video but a tobacco commercial? Be tough! be a rebel! beat the evil government! smoke till you die! now watch us light up! It's sexy, it's cool, beautiful people do it!

  15. High tax state residents are mad a trump for his new tax bill, instead of being mad at their states. Talk about retards. Every other states will benefits expect high tax states, but no its Trumps fault and the the crooked states fault.

  16. Lol gueesin like im the only guy that that am like, sure why not, dont make economic profit more important than that health of the populus, if ur worrired about big companies out compeeting small bussniess, then look and change the factors that make them do so in another way. Then again im probably from the most socialist country in europé so maybe my outlook is a lil bit diffrent 😅

  17. but…but, they're so much smarter and more moral than we are. They should have the right to tell us what we can and can not eat and drink. We're all knuckle dragging window licking crayon eating blithering idiots, after all. Our betters should have the ability to make sure we don't do, say or think anything that's not approved by them in advance.

  18. Everybody alive today knows that smoking can kill you. I am a life-long non-smoker. However, I support the right of smokers to indulge in smoking without being ripped off by tax hungry bureaucrats.

  19. People….. if you don't like state and federal government ruling your lives — stop voting for Democrats.

    A vote for a Democrat is a vote to relinquish personal freedom, and it is a vote to deny yourself authority over your own life.

    The Republicans aren't much better. Therefore, VOTE INDEPENDENT.

  20. So, new york decided that they like the fate of Detroit. Nice… good lick in your ehh entrepreneurial endeavors, NYC

  21. It should be illegal to make a profit off a deadly product.

    All profits on tobacco sales should go in a fund to support the health care system

  22. What an elitist SCUM. He wants to see a transition? Who the HELL are YOU to tell me what i can and cannot eat or smoke? Fuck you you filthy scumbag.

  23. I agree with this, but, i do feel the video was edited with much bias. Like he left out a few questions and terms. But i do agree with his ideas.

  24. $2000 < &

    Freedom ends where other people's health begins.

  25. 78 people died in Russia because of high alcohol tax and bans on imports of some alcohol products.

  26. If additional taxes and prices on cigarettes are meant to discourage smoking, what do they think the income tax does?

  27. why dont they stop putting fluoride in water witch is a neurotoxin , and gmo's that are proven unhealthy for consumption , plastic containers that cause health problems if they are really that concerned about public health issues , the government is poisoning are air are water and are food

  28. 2:06 "I wan to see a transition towards thinking more about…." Um, what about what "I" want? What about what the store owner wants? What about what his customers want. Who the fuck do these people think they are?

  29. If they were prohibiting selling milk and bread for cheap, I'd be outraged…. But cigarettes? No sympathy there unfortunately

  30. This is sheer hypocrisy from the government. If it is a bad product, you ban it. It's not like a bad product has never been banned before. Of course, government doesn't want to ban it as they collect millions in taxes. Minimum prices are the stupidest thing I've ever hears in a capitalistic system.

  31. Look at that fucker sweat. He KNOWS he can't truly defend his position. Reminds of an old SNL running skit about a huckster defending his dangerous products on 60 minutes. Dan Akroyd and then later, Martin Short.

  32. So you're making things to expensive for me to afford. Nice. I don't think I've ever actually heard a politician admit that they want to raise a peice, particularly poor people.

    I can make my own decisions. You're just hurting my wallet now. Fuck you.

  33. Not with you on this one. Reduction in smoking is more than about the smoker, it's about second hand smoking. Just look at the streets of China. People are free to smoke as they please, and everyone suffers from second-hand smoking. You have no right to force everyone one around you to smoke.

  34. I hate smoking — and I hate these laws. I ESPECIALLY hate a city that would fine a business owner so much money just for selling at a fair price.

  35. Where does it end with the left though? Cars are dangerous should we ban those? Or artificially mandate an increased price? Alcohol is bad, should we go back to the prohibition era? The end game for the left is clearly complete government control and the abandonment of the individual.

  36. The "transition" that this is most likely to incent is a transition to a stronger black market for tobacco.

    But, hey, legal disincentives worked for alcohol (1919-1933) and for drugs (1971-today), right?

  37. This is a guy who survived lung cancer and never smoked crusading for your right to smoke. Stossel is a truly selfless, enlightened American.

  38. I actually agree with the health guy.. This wa not about nyc strangling small businesses, this was about tobacco.

  39. Poor people in NYC just want a cig when times get tough. Because of this guy, they decide to just drink bleach and kill themselves instead. Can't even get a dang Big Gulp, what a joyless hell hole it's become.

  40. "but what I wanna see is a transition…. " is this guy serious , so now i get to have whatever i want people to do because i have a phd 'I want …. ' well no one cares how this guy wants us to behave can soneone tell him that

  41. I'm fine with deregulation, but first lets make it against the law to put addictive mind altering additives into the tobacco so that people are actually able to choose rationally. The whole thing people hate about tobacco companies is their attempts to get someone to try it, then they get promptly hooked since so much nicotin is put in it disrupts the body chemistry. Stop them from manipulating people and then the free market can decide how wanted tobacco is. This indirect BS is just stupid.

    These policies are designed to be anti-small business, which is just stupid.

  42. If you give government the “responsibility” to give you “free” healthcare, don’t be surprised when the same government comes and force you to live a “healthy” lifestyle arguing that if they don’t force you if you become sick you’ll be expensive to that same government….

  43. My mother and grandmother both died of emphysema. In the last 3 months of her life, my grandmother cost the taxpayers more than she earned in her entire life. I wish that a pack of cigarettes cost $1,000. Fuck Stossel….better yet, I hope that he spends the last three months of his life fighting for every breath!

  44. 50% or more of most state budgets go to public education. If people are making poor choices after K-12 education, it's partially because the poor choices and quality of the subjects being taught. Don't teach health and nutrition, population makes poor health and nutrition choices.

  45. "There are 20 tobaco retailers for every McDonalds." It's almost like a country of commuters/consumers need gas stations or walmarts more than crappy fast food.

  46. The main question here is whether the government, or rather other human beings, should be allowed to tell others what they are and are not allowed to do- even if it’s bad for their health. I believe that they shouldn’t and that it’s none of their business.

  47. Government only has this kind of power because they are willing to terrorize and use force against the common citizen.

  48. John Stossel is without doubt best reporter on network TV. Why is he the only guy on TV that has a functional Brain and can ask intelligent question? This guy should be CEO of a network. If Stossel was a CEO we could weed out some of the Caulk Suckers….does anyone know why so many greasy Demohomcrat Caulk Suckers are on TV and CNN. Do Caulk Suckers get paid more than normal heterosexual people….just asking. What attracts Caulk Suckers to news media jobs. Does the word “job” have any meaning here …….just axing ????

  49. Yes smoking is bad, and I can see if people don't want to smell the second hand smoke, but it's not ok to force people to stop smoking by way of higher prices. More legislation doesn't mean healthier people, better information does.

  50. Cigars aren’t even that big of a health problem. They certainly are not good for you but most cigar smokers are social smokers who enjoy a cigar every once in a while. My grandfather smoked cigars all the time and he’s 90 years old and still kicking in good health. I myself enjoy a cigar to relax, but I certainly am not addicted to it.

  51. NY is number 2 state in the country for people moving away. Every time I turn around in my hometown I meet someone from NY.

  52. Doctor Ribasil (sp.) is exactly the kind of elitist politico that needs to be thrown out of ALL conversations in D.C.

  53. I have an idea, how about we make tobacco more healthy by removing the chemicals the companies add to make them more addictive.

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