If You’re Collecting Cigarette Coupons, You’d Better Use Them Soon

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The part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-cigarette law that would require retailers to hide their wares from public view got all the attention earlier this month. But the New York Times points out that another component of it deserves more attention: It would set the minimum price of cigarettes at $10.50 a pack and make it illegal for stores to accept coupons or offer discounts, which the Times says would be "the first time such a strategy has been used to combat smoking." Of course, cigarette vendors aren't exactly known for complying with the city's existing price ordinances, and New York smokers are pretty crafty when it comes to getting affordable cigarettes. But under the new law collecting coupons and shopping for deals would no longer be tools in the thrifty smoker's kit. At least it would end those five-block walks to the bodega that's a dollar cheaper.