This is in response to the July 31 letter “Legalize loosies” by reader Larry Penner. The author believes “law enforcement authorities should pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property rather than enforcing insane laws outlawing the sale of individual cigarettes.”
Selling “loosies” is a violation of both NYC (unlicensed vending) and NYS (the sale of untaxed tobacco) laws designed to make regulated tobacco products less accessible and less attractive to youth. Every day nearly 3,800 kids try their first cigarette and 1,000 kids become daily smokers. Many will become addicted before they are old enough to understand the risks, and they will ultimately die of tobacco-related diseases.
Although law enforcement resources aimed toward drugs, gang violence and terrorism are obviously higher on the priority list, should the NYPD (and other combined enforcement resources) look the other way while kids continue to become addicted to tobacco products as easily as they can buy a bag of M&Ms?
A more efficient, combined agency effort is needed to stop the selling of loosies but more so is the next step up in the pipeline that illegally brings in cigarettes from Virginia and Missouri where taxes are minimal compared to NYC. The end result must be to remove kids from having easy access to smokes before they are 21 and become addicted, candidates for lung cancer and a lifetime of misery.
Restricting the sale of loosies is just one facet of an effective tobacco control program that is needed to denormalize smoking and cut down on the 480,000 smoking-related deaths per year in this country. To have an effective program, not only do you need to have a highly visible multimedia education campaign that will reach adolescents in a way to neutralize the $8.4 billion annual advertising campaign of the tobacco industry to recruit their next replacement generation, but a program that is designed to maintain and incrementally increase tobacco taxes on federal, state and local levels, and strictly enforce minimum purchase age and packaging of tobacco products (including the restriction of loosies).
There is more to “Don’t let one tragic death impede law enforcement” (Editorial, July 24). Blame the economy for forcing Eric Garner, like thousands of other out of work New Yorkers, to sell street corner cigarettes known as “loosies,” 2 for $1 to make ends meet. Excessive taxes on cigarettes has resulted in a growing market for those in poor neighborhoods to purchase cigarettes one or two at a time.
Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings, robberies and auto and identity theft or home break-ins than individuals who sell loosies.
Law enforcement authorities should pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property rather than enforcing insane laws outlawing the sale of individual cigarettes.
The defunct Parkway Hospital site is up for auction yet again! The Jasper Venture Group, a Manhattan-based real estate investment firm, had announced plans to build luxury condos at the location in May, which was auctioned off to 70-35 113th Street LLC in January. However, the developer declined to discuss the current situation.
An employee of councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) saw the site listed for an auction on July 11, in a real estate publication. The councilwoman’s office has not heard from the developer or Joseph Risi, the Queens Supreme Court-appointed referee, according to Michael Cohen, a spokesman for Kozlowitz. Cohen said he was “not surprised” to see it up for auction again.
Pat Martin’s troubles began 12 years ago and they’ve only gotten worse.
The Bayside homeowner has the bad luck of living next door to a Tommy Huang building project gone wrong, and despite pleas to the city for help, there’s little she can do about it.