Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a series of actions to reduce smoking in New York City, including a proposal to raise the price of cigarettes to $13 a pack.

“We’ve seen these price increases drive down demand,” de Blasio said.  “It clearly nets out in favor of health and ultimately the more you drive down demand the more you put big tobacco out of business,” de Blasio said.

New York City has more than 900,000 smokers and de Blasio has set a goal of reducing that number by 160,000 over the next three years.

The mayor said heart disease, cancer, pneumonia, respiratory diseases and stroke are the five leading causes of death in the city.  He said all five are linked to the use of tobacco.

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