Article from Reason by John Stossel and Naomi Brockwell.

Kamal Saleh runs a small store in New York City. He was recently given a summons to appear in court for violating one of New York’s many rules. His crime was selling cigars… 11 cents too cheaply.

It’s not often people complain about things being too cheap. But New York City says stores may not sell tobacco below a certain price.

“Very cheap products should no longer be available. It deters children from starting smoking,” says Dr. Kurt Ribisl, who studies tobacco policy and testified at the New York hearings in favor of the tobacco price floor. “Cigarettes are the most lethal product ever introduced into interstate commerce.”

John Stossel agrees cigarettes are dangerous. But he asks Dr. Ribisl, “Shouldn’t individuals have the right to decide for themselves if they want to smoke? And what is the cost to New York City businesses in complying with all these regulations?” For tobacco alone, the regulations are 47 pages long.

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons