There are nearly 9,000 stores selling cigarettes in New York City, according to a new report by the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, which says the city is “oversaturated” with cigarette retailers.
The 8,992 stores licensed to sell tobacco citywide include 2,725 in Brooklyn, 2,196 in Manhattan, 2,117 in Queens, 1,542 in the Bronx, and 412 on Staten Island.
The heaviest concentration of tobacco sellers is in Midtown Manhattan, where there are 62 for every 10,000 people, followed by the Financial District, where there are 25. That compares to a citywide average of 10 stores for every 10,000 people.
Outside Manhattan, the highest rates are in lower-income neighborhoods in the South Bronx and north and central Brooklyn, the report found — the same neighborhoods likely to have higher smoking rates. Hunts Point in the Bronx has 17 stores for every 10,000 people, and Mott Haven and Belmont in the Bronx and Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick in Brooklyn each have 16. A bill was introduced in the City Council earlier this month to set a cap on the number of tobacco sellers in each neighborhood at half the number now existing, and bar issuing any new licenses until the number of stores has fallen below the cap. Smoking kills about 12,000 people a year in the city, making it the top preventable cause of death.