[Update Below] Many of Mayor Bloomberg's nanny initiatives during his more than a decade in office haven't made it to the streets (here's sipping at you, soda ban!) but one area where he can unequivocally claim some success is with cutting back tobacco use here. While Bloomberg has been in office we've seen smoking banned in bars and parks in the five boroughs, cigarette prices soar and many a free patch distributed. And now Bloomberg has one last screw you to the tobacco industry: He's going to make them hide their wares.

Bloomberg announced new legislation today to make NYC the first in the nation to require that tobacco products be kept out of sight in retail stores. The scheme, which we lag the U.K. in introducing, is pretty simple: If the City Council approves it, businesses will be prohibited from displaying cigarette packs in stores as well as accepting tobacco promotional materials. They will still be allowed to post cigarette ads and prices, the mayor said. And the new rules would not affect tobacco stores, which already are not allowed to admit those under 18.

The idea behind the cover-up is that if kids don't see the smokes, they won't remember that they want to buy them. Of course they also might just make cigarettes even more enticing to them, but that's what e-cigs are for, anyway!

Meanwhile is Bloomberg, just fresh from a fight with Big Soda, worried about fighting Big Tobacco again? "Big Tobacco is going after everybody," Bloomberg said today, "but they seem to be focusing most of their attention on people around the world who they think are most vulnerable."

Also, FYI, Bloomberg really doesn't seem to mind being called Nanny Bloomberg. When a reporter today asked if he had issues with cartoonists making him out to be a modern Mary Poppins, he appeared to get angry and said, "let me tell you how many people are still alive because of this [NYC tobacco regulations]—and all you want to do is talk about a silly cartoon?"

Update: We reached out to smokers rights activist Audrey Silk for her take on the news and this was her response:

It's Bloomberg who needs to have his mouth taped shut and hidden from the children. Because I'm sick of hearing how tobacco is "not normal." It IS normal -- AND legal -- and has been for centuries. What's not normal is this behavior that seeks to sever free will from the person -- using forms of censorship to do so. That's the dangerous lesson this dictator and the rest of the anti-smoker zealots are teaching the children. In fact, the anti-smokers do a better job than the tobacco industry could ever hope to achieve in keeping the subject of the act of smoking in front of "the children" with their bombardment of anti-smoking lessons in schools, events and ads. Without them it's possible a minor wouldn't be thinking about cigarettes.