OVERSATURATED NYC

Share

Updated April 2017

New York City Is Oversaturated with Licensed Tobacco Retail Outlets

For more than decade New York City has led a historic and successful effort to reduce smoking rates.  By increasing the price of all tobacco products, implementing comprehensive smoke and tobacco free policies and funding evidence-based, citywide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs, New York City has driven down smoking rates to historic lows. Despite these efforts 14.3% of residents (approximately 950,000 people) still smoke and significant disparities persist by education, household income and mental health.  One reason for why so many New Yorkers continue to use tobacco and tobacco use is still the number one cause of preventable disease and death in New York City is because of the overwhelming number of places where tobacco can be legally purchased in the five boroughs.

PDF iconRead the new report OVERSATURATED here.

Watch video from the press conference releasing the report here.

Highlights of the new report are as follows:

There are approximately 8,992 licensed tobacco retail outlets citywide.

  • 2,196 in Manhattan

  • 2,725 in Brooklyn 

  • 2,117 in Queens

  • 1,542 in the Bronx 

  • 412 on Staten Island 

To put the citywide total in perspective it is:

  • 3 times more than the top ten corporate chain retailer stores combined (2,984)

  • 3 1/2 times as many pizzerias (Approx.2500)

  • 5 times as many public K-12 schools (2,619)

  • 29 times as many Starbucks (307)

Citywide there is a licensed tobacco retail outlet every 5 blocks or 1,312 feet. 

  • Staten Island: 7.01 blocks or 1839.9 feet

  • Queens:  5.51 blocks or 1446.2 feet

  • Brooklyn: 5.21 blocks or 1367.5 feet

  • Manhattan: 2.59 blocks or 679.1 feet

  • Bronx: 4.63 blocks or 1215.2 feet

There is approximately one licensed tobacco retail outlet for every 196 children in New York City.

Density, proximity and smoking habits of New Yorkers

  • There are 342 licensed tobacco retail outlets within 200 feet of a school, 2,909 licensed tobacco retail outlets within 500 feet of a school and 6,778 licensed tobacco retail outlets within 1,000 feet of a school in New York City.

  • There are 4,920 licensed tobacco retail outlets within 200 feet of another licensed tobacco retail outlet, 7,843 licensed tobacco retail outlets within 500 feet of another licensed tobacco retail outlet and 8,442 licensed tobacco retail outlets within 1,000 feet of another licensed tobacco retail outlet.

  • There is approximately one licensed tobacco retail outlet for every 196 children in New York City. Meanwhile there is approximately one playground for every 1,765 children and one public library for every 8,613 children in New York City.

  • Manhattan leads the city in the rate of tobacco retail outlets with 13 per 10,000 people, with the Bronx (11 per 10,000 people), Brooklyn (11 per 10,000 people), Queens (9 per 10,000 people) and Staten Island (9 per 10,000 people) following.

  • In both the South Bronx and in North and Central Brooklyn the rate of tobacco retail outlets found in the corresponding community districts is significantly higher than the borough as a whole.

  • The five community districts with the highest rate of tobacco retail outlets in the Bronx are in the South Bronx, and the seven community districts with the highest rate of tobacco retail outlets in Brooklyn are in North and Central Brooklyn. Smoking rates in each of these neighborhoods rank at the top in the city.

  • Midtown Manhattan (62 per 10,000 people) and the Financial District (25 per 10,000 people) have a disproportionate rate of retail outlets compared to the number of residents. Hunts Point and Longwood (17 per 10,000 people), Greenwich Village and Soho (17 per 10,000 people) and Clinton and Chelsea (17 per 10,000 people) lead the city in more residential neighborhoods.

  • There are approximately 600 pharmacies in New York City that currently hold tobacco retail licenses.

  • Citywide, nearly 80 percent of smokers are either non-daily smokers (41.4 percent) or light daily smokers (37.5 percent), while heavy smokers make up only 21.1 percent of smokers. A policy that would reduce availability of tobacco would have its greatest impact on those non-daily smokers or light daily smokers.

ACS CAN recommends five steps that New York City should take to address the oversaturation of tobacco in New York City

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has achieved significant declines in youth and adult smoking rates since 2002 by implementing a five-point plan consisting of taxation, legislation, cessation, education and evaluation. Despite these historic efforts and the progress that has been made in reducing tobacco use, there remains a clear need to address the oversaturation of licensed tobacco retail outlets in New York City.

ACS CAN recommends the following steps:

  • Establish a cap on retail tobacco licenses: New York City should establish a cap on the number of retail tobacco licenses in each community district at 50 percent of their current level. No new licenses should be issued in a community district until the number of licenses in that community district is at or below the newly established cap.

  • Restrict access near youth-service entities: New York City should prohibit new tobacco retail licenses from being issued to any new applicant located within 1,000 feet of schools, houses of worship, playgrounds, libraries and other youth-service entities.

  • Restrict retail outlet proximity to each other: New York City should prohibit new tobacco retail licenses from being issued to any new applicant located within 1,000 feet of a current licensed tobacco retail outlet.

  • Restrict all tobacco sales in pharmacies: All retail stores that contain a pharmacy or other places of business that provide any form of health service should be prohibited from selling tobacco.

  • Include other tobacco products: The current tobacco retail license in New York City does not cover the sale of tobacco products other than cigarettes, cigars or cigarillos. The licensing requirement should be extended to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Click on any of the below to see maps showing the oversaturation of licensed tobacco retail outlets in New York City:

Tobacco retail locations (all 5 boroughs)

Proximity to schools (all 5 boroughs)

Proximity to other retail locations (all 5 boroughs)

TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORT OF REDUCING THE OVERSATURATION NOW

 

 

Your Support CAN fight Cancer