For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 24, 2022

To Protect New Yorkers’ Health, Department Of Consumer and Worker Protection Takes Action Against Two NYC Stores for Illegally Selling Tobacco Products

NEW YORK, NY – As part of the City’s efforts to protect the health and well-being of New Yorkers and to hold businesses that violate tobacco laws accountable, Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Peter A. Hatch today announced the closures of two stores in the Bronx for illegally selling tobacco products without a license, selling to underage youth, and numerous of other related violations.

“The health of people living in low-income neighborhoods, in which these two stores are located, are at risk when there is increased access to tobacco or vape products. Selling such products without a license, and especially selling to underage youth, is not only immoral, it is illegal,” said DCWP Commissioner Peter A. Hatch. “Today we are holding these businesses accountable for flouting our laws and endangering the health of their communities.”

“Selling tobacco products to minors in New York City is unacceptable. The use of tobacco products can be especially harmful for young people because nicotine can worsen their memory and focus, which may make it harder to learn,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “While the vast majority of retailers act responsibly, licensing and limiting the number of tobacco retailers is an important strategy for reducing youth access and reducing tobacco use, which remains a leading cause of death in NYC.”

“I stand firmly with DCWP and Commissioner Hatch in their decision. Millions of Americans have died due to the effects of smoking, and it's imperative we enforce the regulations to prevent more needless death and injury. Young people should be prevented from buying vaping and tobacco products and we must hold those selling these addictive products to young children liable,” said Council Member Marjorie Velazquez, Chair of the Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection.

“The health and well-being of our residents is our number one priority and it is imperative that we prevent bad actors from illegally selling harmful products to our youth,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “I applaud the Department of Consumer Affairs and Worker Protection for taking swift action to prevent these businesses from causing further harm to our community.”

The two Bronx-based businesses closed for tobacco related violations are Marran Convenient Deli Corp in the Mount Eden area (8 East Mount Eden Avenue) and Azaal Deli Grocery Corp in Highbridge (1053 Ogden Avenue). Under New York City law, to protect the health of New Yorkers by reducing the number of dealers, tobacco and e-cigarette retail dealer licenses in each community district are capped at 50 percent of the totals when the law was enacted in 2017. These three businesses have repeatedly violated City regulations since 2019. The violations history of each business includes:

  • Marran Convenient Deli Corp
    • Selling tobacco products without a Tobacco Retail Dealer license
    • Selling e-cigarette products without an Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer license
    • Selling tobacco products to underage youth
    • Selling individual cigarettes removed from original package that contains health warning
    • Selling cigarettes for less than the legal amount
    • Selling cigars for less than the legal amount
    • Selling flavored tobacco
    • Selling flavored e-cigarettes/liquid
    • Selling loose tobacco with less than 6/10 oz of tobacco
    • Selling wrapping papers in packages of less than 20 sheets

  • Azaal Deli Grocery Corp
    • Selling tobacco products without a Tobacco Retail Dealer License
    • Selling tobacco products to underage youth
    • Selling flavored tobacco
    • Selling individual cigarettes which are removed from original package that contains health warning
    • Selling cigarettes for less than legal amount
    • Selling loose tobacco with less than 6/10 oz of tobacco/smaller size package

DCWP inspectors routinely inspect tobacco and e-cigarette retailers to check for issues related to licensing, signage, sales to young adults under 21, and other related compliance issues. Since 2017, DCWP has inspected more than 33,000 Tobacco Retail Dealers and more than 7,800 Electronic Cigarette Dealers and issued more than 8,000 summonses to ensure that current tobacco laws are being followed. Since 2017, DCWP has revoked 1,219 Tobacco Retail Dealer licenses and 1,236 Electronic Retail Dealer Licenses. DCWP has also suspended 830 tobacco licenses and 44 electronic cigarette licenses since 2017. DCWP is committed to educating businesses to ensure they know how to comply with the law and has a webpage dedicated to information for Tobacco and/or Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealers. DCWP encourages consumers who witness any violations by tobacco or e-cigarette retail dealers to file a complaint by visiting nyc.gov/dcwp or contacting 311.

NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 59,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at nyc.gov/dcwp or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Media Contact:
Laura Feyer | Carmel Agnant
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
(212) 436-0042
press@dca.nyc.gov