NEW YORK (AP) — Tobacco companies have worked hard to ensure that cigarette displays occupy prime shelving space in stores all over the country.
Now, that supremacy could be in jeopardy in one of the nation's biggest markets.
New York City's mayor has proposed a bill that would force retailers to keep cigarettes out of public view until a customer asks for a pack.
That would upset years of work by the industry to make sure cigarettes get prime product placement.
The Federal Trade Commission says that in 2010 alone, the industry made $370 million in payments to retailers to support in-store displays.
Experts are debating whether the proposal to keep cigarettes hidden will lead to reduced sales or merely make things more inconvenient for buyers.