New York City - all retailers selling tobacco will be required to post warning signs..

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September 23, 2009 - The New York City (NYC) Department of Health unanimously approved a measure Tuesday, September 22nd that will require all retailers selling tobacco to post health warning signs in stores.

Health officials say they want smokers to see warning signs featuring rotting lungs, like the one pictured above, every time they buy tobacco in the city.

The new signs will include information on how to quit.

"These signs are really going to be saving lives. They're going to provide adults who smoke and teens who are thinking about smoking with life-saving information about the hazards of tobacco use," said Anne Pearson of the City Bureau of Tobacco Control. "They are also going to give them resources to quit smoking if that is what they need to do."

Signs are expected to be up by December but the city will give stores a one- or two-month grace period before issuing fines ranging from $200 to $2,000. The measure affects about 12,000 retailers in the five boroughs. The proposal was initially to have stores post signs saying they do not sell to minors, but store retail groups objected. Most owners told NY1 have no problem with the new rule. "I agree because smoking kills the people," said one owner.

The city has slashed smoking rates by nearly 30 percent over the past several years, but with nearly a million New Yorkers still lighting up, some locals were not sure what difference the new signs will bring.

One of the nation's largest manufactures, Altria Group, owner of Philip Morris USA, said in a statement, "We strongly believe... that tobacco product warning policy should be uniform and consistent throughout the United States and that, therefore, such policies should be developed and promulgated exclusively at the national level."

As of Tuesday, it was not known any group will try to block the new rule in court.

Meanwhile, flavored cigarettes are now illegal.

To watch video click on reference below..

Reference: DOH Approves Warning Signs For Tobacco Sellers by NY1 News, 9/23/2009.

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