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Smoking Ban Makes Strange Bedfellows

Friday, February 04, 2011

WNYC

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on The Brian Lehrer Show, City Councilmembers Daniel J. Halloran (R-19), representing Northeast Queens, and Robert Jackson (D-7), representing West Harlem, parts of Washington Heights, Inwood, Central Harlem, and Morningside Heights, explained their votes against the council's ban on smoking in parks, beaches, and pedestrian plazas.

The City Council passed a bill on Wednesday to ban smoking in 1,700 city parks and along 14 miles of city beaches and some pedestrian plazas. The bill passed by a 36-to-12 vote. It is the most significant expansion of anti-smoking laws in the city since the 2002 prohibition on smoking in restaurants and bars.

City Council members Daniel J. Halloran and Robert Jackson explained their votes against the council's ban on smoking in parks, beaches, and pedestrian plazas.

Councilmember Jackson started by acknowledging that the ban may have made for unlikely bedfellows, but that he sees Councilmember Halloran as a colleague, not a Republican. 

We have fifty-one members of the City Council and each one has their opinions about certain things…I voted against the bill because I was looking for a compromise bill.. I just think that as a council, as a government, we are going too far in trying to control the lives of New Yorkers with all of the things that we’re doing.

Jackson himself does not smoke, but he finds it ridiculous that smokers walking through Central Park or on the Coney Island boardwalk might be ticketed. He also sees no value in the ban as a public health measure. He said that school with PCB contamination are a more pressing concern.

I do think that most adults know that smoking is not good for your health, just like they know that drinking is not good for your health, but I just think the government is going too far.

Halloran agreed that there are more significant health concerns that the Council is not addressing and thinks the danger of second-hand smoke exposure has been overstated.

The studies on second-hand smoke that we’ve been looking at, none of them — none of them — indicate that there is any greater health risk from second-hand smoke in open places like parks than there is from the trucks and the cars on the roads in the city of New York. So unless we're being intellectually honest about this and we’re going to start talking about banning the cars and trucks, this ban will actually not accomplish very much.

Even more worrisome for Halloran is his concern that the ban creates a “slippery slope of arguments." Following the last smoking ban in 2002, Halloran said Mayor Bloomberg’s office said it would not pursue further bans. 

I can see looming on the horizon even worse controls, where we’ll be talking about the police state enforcing rules against households, against individual motorists, and there’s no end to this.

A caller from Manhattan voiced concern about the ban from a civil liberties perspective.

Who are going to be the enforcers of the law?  I assume the police...I worry that you’ll wind up with selective enforcement. It gives police another excuse to approach people, question, and I think once again it will disproportionately fall on young black men in the city.

Jackson agreed that it is a legitimate fear, though he said that one of the compromises in the law is that the ban is to be enforced by park patrol, not NYPD. Halloran, a former attorney, was skeptical that the police department would refrain from using the ban as another reason to stop people. 

Certainly if there’s a law on the books the police will seek to enforce it, especially if it’s collateral to other things that are going on and I think there is a real danger of youths in particular being subject to this, and because it’s an offense, the police will be able to stop, frisk, and do an inquiry, and that creates an interesting set of paradigms that is going to shock the progressives who voted for this bill, because they are going to see a corollary change in police behavior based on being able to use this as a predicate to open the door into inquiry.

Sheelah Feinberg from the New York City Coalition for a Smoke Free City called in to defend the legislation. 

We feel really strongly that all New Yorkers have a right to breathe clean air. The US Surgeon General said there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke, and that is where we come from on this bill.

Halloran challenged Feinburg that there were more pressing health concerns that the Council should address. Feinburg agreed that PCB's are a serious concern, but reminded the Councilmember that "we're here to talk about smoke-free parks and beaches."

Even though we have a fifteen percent smoking rate here in New York City — one million of our residents smoke — non-smoking new Yorkers have higher levels of cotinine than the national average, and that is a result of being around smokers and second-hand smoke. So we are above the national average. 

Jackson said a compromise could have been reached in which some small areas were designated as smoking-allowed, but the proponents of the bill were unwilling to compromise. 

I don’t think the people who moved this bill forward were willing to compromise. And that’s why I say that we’re moving toward a situation where the government is going to interfere in the lives of New Yorkers, and I’m not in favor of that.

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Comments [49]

ralph from Queens

"The studies on second-hand smoke that we’ve been looking at, none of them — none of them — indicate that there is any greater health risk from second-hand smoke in open places like parks than there is from the trucks and the cars on the roads in the city of New York."

A non-smoking Manhattanite's lung is completely indistinguishable from a smoking Manhattanite's lung, and it's from car exhaust, not secondhand smoke.

And to Joel Rosenman, re: polonium.

That's hilarious. You know that polonium is not *plutonium*, correct? You can rest easy knowing my American Spirits are 100% polonium free... breathe deep!

Feb. 06 2011 01:09 PM
Audrey Silk from Brooklyn

(cont.)...

For my fellow smokers who think it's okay to ban smoking in privately owned places like bars but now think it's gone too far: You are as responsible for this outdoor ban as the anti-smokers. When you're dealing with a tyrannical movement there is no end to them. The anti-smokers' plan all along was to incrementally get here. Once they had everyone used to ALL the indoors it was their intent to then go for the outdoors. And after the outdoors? Your home! You are their lab rat and you let them train you by convincing you of some shame. You know what's shameful? The denormalization of liberty in order to denormalize an otherwise legal behavior. Stop freakin' apologizing. You've got nothing to be ashamed of or sorry for. Millions have quit. You can if you WANT to. So do it if you want to but stop dragging the rest of us down with your concessions.

Finally, this law will be paid the respect it deserves. All of you expecting to go out the NEXT day and not see smoking in these places will think it's Groundhog Day. YESTERDAY repeating itself over and over again.

I've had it with you people. No more. You're a greater and more tangible threat to our society than any whiff of smoke.

Founder, NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.)

Feb. 06 2011 07:15 AM
Audrey Silk from Brooklyn

(cont.)...

For the "it's harmful" crowd: How can any intelligent human being believe for one second that momentary whiffs of cigarette smoke outdoors is killing you? It's biologically implausible. For argument's sake, how do you divorce from your conscience that if it takes 30 to 40 years of direct inhalation over and over again for someone to MAYBE contract cancer that you can be harmed by whiffs now and then? If it were that deadly the argument "but we need cars and don't need cigarettes" (when someone suggests cars should be banned in comparison) would be criminal. Lock yourself in a closed garage with a running car for half an hour and another in a closed garage with a cigarette (20 cigs!). Who's coming out? The point then is not to say ban cars then. The point is to say how ridiculous it is to think you're at such dire risk of death from whiffs of smoke when no one is keeling over on the streets from the cars. There IS a safe level.

Then there's the Thought Police. Lady (amanda), control your own children by imparting your own lessons on them! Don't come around revoking MY liberty in order to teach YOUR kids some lesson. Again, are you kidding me?!? I find this one to be the most disgusting argument that's been advanced in support of this law.

You anti-smokers (different from nons) are not just superior to smokers but you're obviously superior to people allergic to dogs, perfumes, have epilepsy, etc. They have just as much right as you not to suffer exposures that (REALLY) make them ill. Where's the equal screaming about having no dogs walked outside or pet owners' clothes de-haired (my dog sheds like crazy and I can't get them all) before going out in public? Think of the kids! They really DO have a beef since these are allergens. Anyone who says they're "allergic" to smoke cannot be since there is no allergens in cigarette smoke. Look it up.

Feb. 06 2011 07:14 AM
Audrey SIlk from Brooklyn

Wow. I find the comments in support of the ban insufferable. I'll also have a harsh word for some of my fellow smokers. But first...

Litter? Really? Hey, litter fines exist. The day smokers are the ONLY group littering then it might be right to ban smoking. But when everyone is littering and smokers are the ONLY group banned then it's outright discrimination and can only be based on a hysterical hatred.

Health care costs? Really? Were we to accept the argument that smokers die earlier then it's impossible that smokers could ultimately cost more. 5 studies conclude it's the healthiest among us who eat up most of the healthcare in their final lingering years. There's nothing logical about protesting "We shouldn't have to pay for your healthcare"! Apparently everyone has a beef about paying for everyone else's healthcare. Who does that leave? Which one among you is the last standing perfect specimen that's left paying for everyone else?? And smoking prevalence has declined precipitously over the last few decades. Any reduction in your govt.-collected bill? Finally, we'd all be left believing that NO one covers their own damn healthcare by all accounts. Like many of you, smokers have their own health insurance. UNlike you, we DO pay extra when the tobacco companies raised the price on our product in order to cover the settlement with the state(s) that was to be used to cover health care costs for smokers. We already PAID to cover the cost. Why are we to be subject to double jeopardy because the state puts that money in the General Fund instead!

Voted on by the people? The same MAJORITY of people who have been indoctrinated into such a visceral hatred as to impose their mob rule through a charade of a vote? No, this time representative government should step in and vote the same way they voted for desegregation. The minority's rights are to be equally protected against mob rule.

For the "it might not be harmful but I shouldn't have to smell it" crowd: You begged and pleaded years ago "can't you just go outside??" And out we were sent. You got your indoors. Why don't you just stay there! And you wonder why some smokers respond rudely to complaints about their smoking outdoors. Are you selfish people kidding me??

(cont.)...

Feb. 06 2011 07:12 AM

The anti-smokers commit flagrant scientific fraud by ignoring more than 50 studies which show that human papillomaviruses cause at least 1/4 of non-small cell lung cancers. Smokers and passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus for socioeconomic reasons. And the anti-smokers' studies are all based on lifestyle questionnaires, so they're cynically DESIGNED to blame tobacco for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV. And they commit the same type of fraud with every disease they blame on tobacco.

http://www.smokershistory.com/hpvlungc.htm

And, all their so-called "independent" reports were ring-led by the same guy, Jonathan M. Samet, including the Surgeon General Reports, the EPA report, the IARC report, and the ASHRAE report, and he's now the chairman of the FDA Committee on Tobacco. He and his politically privileged clique exclude all the REAL scientists from their echo chamber. That's how they make their reports "unanimous!"

http://www.smokershistory.com/SGlies.html

For the government to commit fraud to deprive us of our liberties is automatically a violation of our Constitutional rights to the equal protection of the laws, just as much as if it purposely threw innocent people in prison. And for the government to spread lies about phony smoking dangers is terrorism, no different from calling in phony bomb threats.

Feb. 05 2011 06:04 PM
Ted from Highland, NY

Second Hand Cigarette Smoke vs Automotive Exhaust. Really?! Our proximity to smokers is the big threat?! This is just a diversionary joke.

Feb. 05 2011 10:41 AM
Brooklyn from NYC

I'm an occasional smoker and I got sneered at and called gross this morning by someone walking by me. I let this person pass me and blew my smoke away from her purposely so I wouldn't get it too much in her space before she insulted me and she still felt the need to say something anyway. I understand that you don't want to breathe it in. People are entitled to that, which is why I try to avoid people as much as I can when I'm outside smoking.

I'm happy it's banned in bars. That was one of the best things to happen to bars. And I'm even somewhat for banning smoking in parks and beaches. I just wish there could be a compromise; a smoking area perhaps, a place to put the butts instead of on the grass. I just don't think one should be rude and nasty to someone who smokes, especially when they're trying to avoid exposing you to smoke.

Feb. 04 2011 11:18 AM
Ash in Chelsea

I am not a smoker and I oppose this law.

1. The argument that it improves the health of the non-smokers of NYC is specious. If the assertion is true, why not ban smoking in public ENTIRELY? Or, is that the NEXT step.

2. The argument that non-smokers should not pay for the health issues created by smokers is also specious. We pay for the health issues created by people who drink alcohol, eat too much, eat unhealthy food, don't exercise, etc.

3. Anti-social behavior to smoke in public (parks or any other non-enclosed plublic space)? What about the noise makers? The honking drivers of cars? Spitters? Gum chewers? Farters? The people who don't move when the subway doors open? And on and on...

4. Likelyhood of success? Ha! Did national prohibition of drinking alcohol succeed?

I think, though well-intentioned, this ridiculous law simply reflects the limited abilitiy of the Council to think critically and logically.

Feb. 04 2011 11:17 AM
LB from New York City

It's not only a matter of individuals' freedom to smoke vs state control of individuals' behavior. If I smoke, that's my problem. But I smoke and get cancer as a consequence, you will have to pay my bills. You'll pay them in the form of taxes to cover my Medicaid, in the form of higher hospital costs designed to finance the care of the non-insured, or if I have private insurance, you'll still pay for my health care in the form of higher premiums on your insurance to protect insurance industry profitibility. So, if you give me the freedom to smoke, you're also agreeing to pay my bills.
That said, it's not an easy choice. We allow people to smoke in private - and many other risky behaviors - even though we have to pay for the consequences. We can't outlaw all those behaviors just to reduce our taxes or premiums.
But what everyone should bear in mind is that certain "individual" choices have economic consequences for everyone else. ( In fact, nearly all individual choices have consequences for society, it's just that they're not all economic.)

Feb. 04 2011 11:16 AM

Plain and simple: People smoke because they're addicted. I watch smokers huddled in doorways spewing smoke onto innocent pedestrians with entitled rudeness (you know, smoking is "cool" so, therefor, are smokers, right?). Imagine that these were heroin addicts (less addictive than nicotine) or sex addicts? Would we tolerate the "overspill" then? It's gross....

Feb. 04 2011 11:08 AM
Oscar from Ny

Bloomberg is a progressive natzi...this guy is an eenemy to the ppl if ny

Feb. 04 2011 11:07 AM
annie from NYC

If they outlaw smoking at the beach, who will decide where the Ocean stops and the beach starts? Can we dip our ankles and light up?

Can you stand just outside the park and spark one?

This law is absurd.

Feb. 04 2011 10:56 AM
blume

ban smoking, why???

clearly the bill is out of line with rational thinking.

clearly not well thought out, it is random and irresponsible, it has in other words a structureless existence... what dangers are implied by these kinds of laws built on sandy foundations.

tempting although not even necessary to add, why should tax on soda fail to pass and ban smoking succeed to come into law?

Feb. 04 2011 10:55 AM
Joel Rosenman

It takes only one inhaled atom of polonium from second-hand smoke to initiate cancer in a non-smoker (or a smoker) who is downwind from a lit cigarette, or who inhales ambient smoke. The argument that we should ignore this because we face worse dangers in our daily life is like saying that during the Cold War we shouldn't have bothered to have a New York Fire Dept. because we faced the greater daily threat of nuclear annihilation from abroad.

Feb. 04 2011 10:54 AM
LF from NYC

A right to breathe clean air? What: there's no safe level of exposure to car and truck exhaust? How about allowing a luxury hotel to be built in front of our only light window effectively eliminating anything but twilight from our apt? I guess we should just take more vitamin D. I suggest we mandate that instead of light to go along with the clean air.The most fatuous concern.. No one cares about the health of the citizens in NYC if it has to do with the controlling real estate interests profits. Maybe the police should ticket all the tourists who smoke much more than we do.. another surreptitious revenue stream for unscroupulous NY politicians.

Feb. 04 2011 10:50 AM

Really this guy is annoying. It is not an either or issue. Yes, there are many public health risks. That doesn't mean that we should stop implementing those measures that can help. I grew up with two smokers. I am very sensitive to smoke. I am tired of having to dodge smokers on the streets and in parks. My brother is a firefighter. Do you know how many fires are started by cigarettes? I can smell a cigarette from blocks away. I would actually be happy if they banned cigarettes altogether because I have to pay higher taxes for those who end up using hospitals for their smoking-induced illnesses. My mother had a heart attack at age 52 and died at age 62 from a stroke thanks to her smoking habit. Why should I have to be exposed to their smoke. I am soooo happy I won't have to dodge the cigarettes in parks anymore.

Feb. 04 2011 10:49 AM
Jenna from Harlem

Why isn't it simply understood that smoking is anti-social behavior, to be absolutely discouraged? We don't need to tolerate public smoking in parks and pedestrian plazas any more than we do, say, public defecation.

Feb. 04 2011 10:48 AM
kaci from chelsea

This will re ignite the harassment of smokers by everyday people. Which happened quite regularly in past decades. The parks department force will use this to throw there weigh around which they already do.

Feb. 04 2011 10:47 AM
jmt

Second-hand smoke may not be as big a health problem in open spaces as it is in enclosed spaces, but it is still a problem--not just for healthy individuals but for those with respiratory problems as well. There is no safe level of exposure. And to contrast this with PCBs and other pollutants is to compare apples to oranges. We have to start somewhere, and banning smoking in public spaces is a cheap way to start.

Feb. 04 2011 10:47 AM
amanda

I feel a fundamental point is being missed in this debate. The health risks are there, yes, but for me this is about modelling behavior for our children. If cigarettes cannot be marketed to children, how is this law different. Children seeing adults having fun in a park implies that cigarettes=fun. This, to me, is the fundamental issue.

Feb. 04 2011 10:46 AM
Marie from Manhattan

Exactly how are they going to enforce the law? It's not feasible. There's a law on the books in Boston not to spit on the streets--and no one has ever gotten a ticket for it. All this will lead to is harassment.

Feb. 04 2011 10:46 AM
Susan from NYC

Spare us Napoleon Bonaparte Bloomberg's and Quisling Quinn's self-righteous nanny-state control. If this is the most important thing the City Council has to do, disband the City Council. Soon we will be Singapore.

Feb. 04 2011 10:46 AM
CL from NY

Maddening! The City Council should be ashamed of itself. Who the hell do they think they are? If they want to do something to improve the quality of life in this city, then they should insist that the police crack down on the bicycling delivery and messenger persons who regularly ride on sidewalks and travel the wrong way on the street.

Feb. 04 2011 10:46 AM
Rusty-dab

My neighbors living in brownstones have fireplaces and, in the summer, barbecue in thier back yards. I often smell the smoke in my 15 floor apartment. There must be a health risk in that, one at least as trivial as "second hand" smoke in the park.

There is no "safe level" to life. This ban is silly fear and political posturing.

Feb. 04 2011 10:46 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I like the idea of the law, but I can't see it working too well. The police have a hard enough time enforcing existing law without adding this. They never enforce the no spitting law and I see people spitting on the sidewalk all the time. I don't see the police enforcing the no-left-turns-on-red-lights law, either.

I really can't stand smoking. It makes me cough. It makes me sick. But until individual New Yorkers and smokers in general learn to show consideration for others, we nonsmokers are going to suffer.

Feb. 04 2011 10:45 AM

You want clean air? MOVE TO MONTANA!

Feb. 04 2011 10:45 AM
Jo from Bronx

I applaud the government for banning smoking everywhere. I do not smoke and I am sick of inhaling other people's poison. Smokers are not respectful of nonsmokers and will sneer and puff at you when you point out that they are in a nonsmoking zone. Perhaps the smartest smokers if there are any (you've got to be really an idiot to smoke considering the proof of its destructiveness) should develop an effective personal smoke control device and rescue us all from their own personal addiction. I might drink a beer but I don't whiz all over them.

Feb. 04 2011 10:43 AM

The City of Poughkeepsie--up state (passed) or is trying to pass a similar law. It's crazy, our mayor must be emulating Bloomberg.

I say, butt OUT and I don't smoke and no one in my family does either!

Feb. 04 2011 10:43 AM
Lonnie from Brooklyn!!!

I don't smoke-- but outside, I have no problem if someone else lites up. It's a Civil Liberty Issue.

These are the Nanny-Tyrants who want to control the rest of us-- like the Mommy-Tyrants with Children who feel that wherever they bring their brood, suddenly EVERYONE ELSE must obey their rules.

Feb. 04 2011 10:43 AM
Isaiah from philadelphia

I'll offer a progressive argument against this ban. For one, rationalism - that great progressive belief in science.

While I'm not closely familiar with the studies, I believe your guest is right that there is virtually no evidence that outdoor smoking hurts anyone - just a vague idea that "no level" of secondary smoke is harmful. And come on, people - smokers suck that stuff straight into their lungs all day. You think catching a whiff is actually harmful? Give me a break. This is wealthy, white everything-phobia.

Second: Compassion. Smoking is already on the decline. I strongly favor indoor bans, as indoor smoke really does pose threats to everyone else. But we don't need to hunt down these poor people struggling with a difficult addiction, and one aided by the tobacco industry at every turn.Leave them alone. The parks are for them, too.

Feb. 04 2011 10:43 AM
Joe from LES

I agree that banning smoking should NOT be a priority. Let's crack down on all the myriad other sources of pollution that are major sources of stress in NYC (and cause people to need to smoke to try and relax): sound pollution of all kinds, direct air pollution from all the trucks and cars. (Brian, we can do something about this--we should try to get rid of some of the cars and make the trucking into the city smarter.) banning smoking in outdoor spaces is at best a JOKE, at worst an egregious waste of resources.

Feb. 04 2011 10:42 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

So the small amount of smoke being diffused in the air outside will affect people and cause cancer? Not so.

Liberals and progressives are often strong on social liberties (read: civil libertarians), which would include hedonic pleasures as long as they don't negatively affect others. (See above for the minimal effect of the outside smoking ban.)

It does seem like a way to "control smokers" outside where it does not hurt others, something which I find strange.

By the way, I'm a big ol' lefty...

Feb. 04 2011 10:42 AM
asdf

Social pressure got me to smoke.

Then social pressure (along w bloomie's free patches) got me to quit. Haven't had a smoke -- or a craving -- in years. Go bloomie.

Feb. 04 2011 10:42 AM
Sandra Jordan from upper west side

I don't smoke--think this new bill is absolutely ridiculous and against the personal freedom New York is supposed to stand for. Makes me want to light up.

Feb. 04 2011 10:41 AM
anonyme

What about tourists who come here and get ticketed for smoking?

From the NY Times: A fraction of a trillionth of a curie (a unit of radiation named for polonium’s discoverers, Marie and Pierre Curie) may not sound like much, but remember that we’re talking about a powerful radionuclide disgorging alpha particles — the most dangerous kind when it comes to lung cancer — at a much higher rate even than the plutonium used in the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Polonium 210 has a half life of about 138 days, making it thousands of times more radioactive than the nuclear fuels used in early atomic bombs. [Smoking a pack is like getting 300 chest xrays]

So what are we second hand people getting? Not anything harmless in second hand smoke.

Feb. 04 2011 10:40 AM
james from brooklyn

Here's my question... This ban looks to me like yet another attempt to raise cash on the backs of it's citizens. As the years go by it seems as though our mayor finds more and more ways to write a tickets for living in this city.

Also. as a construction worker, I laugh at the thought that the mayor's first concern is the health of the public. I would invite anyone to visit our workplaces, you may very well be shocked at what you find.

Feb. 04 2011 10:40 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

I'm an ex-smoker and 2nd hand smoke bothers me a LOT. But this ban is just stupid. I understand no smoking at concerts in the park, Shakespeare, etc. It's impossible to keep the bikes ON the pathways so they don't damage plants, trees, etc. But they're going to give tickets for cigarettes. I just don't think so.

Feb. 04 2011 10:40 AM
escargough

As a former smoker I remember thinking how perfectly sublime it was lying on the Coney Island beach and thinking of it as the world's most fascinating and convenient ashtray.

But nowadays smokers are so discriminated against that the smokers' view at Coney Island today are pretty much only teenagers, parolees and sea hags.

Feb. 04 2011 10:40 AM

is the council man making an argument for congestion pricing??

Feb. 04 2011 10:40 AM
matt from Harlem

I'm of two minds...
I dont like the nanny state.
I dont like second hand smoke.

I think it should be voted on by the people, not some council.

Feb. 04 2011 10:39 AM
Liza

I agree with a caller yesterday on this. I would like to see the fervor transposed to other air issues like carbon emissions and environmental regulation. That seems the riskier place. This just seems like the easy fight.

Feb. 04 2011 10:37 AM
dage from brooklyn

i support the no-smoking ban and i actually smoke on occasion. i don't think that i should have to inhale other people's smoke and no one else should have to inhale my smoke. *if one person is smoking then everyone within their vicinity is smoking. it's not fair and it's not healthy.

Feb. 04 2011 10:37 AM
Gwen from CT

I am NOT a smoker and I think that this law is completely ridiculous.

Feb. 04 2011 10:37 AM
Susan from NYC

I see this law as a cynical ploy to give police a new excuse to stop young minority men now that stop and frisk has been exposed as the racist policy it is. Also, Bloomberg wants to raise money on the backs of the poor, leaving the millionaires alone with their money.

Feb. 04 2011 10:36 AM

ask the Council man who should pay the healthcare costs for smokers?
when they turn 65 don't i pay their medicare bills?

Feb. 04 2011 10:36 AM
JT

Won't this have a negative affect on tourism? They'll hate NY if they return home with tickets for smoking. If they don't give tix to tourists also New York's smokers will start using fake accents to avoid the fines.

Feb. 04 2011 10:36 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I am no Bloomberg fan, but I have a hard time opposing this. It's not about the health of the smoker, it's about the health of the people nearby.

Feb. 04 2011 10:36 AM
RLewis from the Bowery

Ask these elected folks if cig' butts are litter? The rest of us are just supposed to put up with that? They've abused the privilege for too long, and now it's time for fairness for the rest of us.

Feb. 04 2011 10:36 AM
Derek from Oyster bay

Bloomberg is coming across as a "Benevolent God" he doesn't care about the health of New Yorkers. He cares about fines that he will collect as a result of it.I think Mayor Bloomberg has been exposed for the charliton that he is.

Feb. 04 2011 10:27 AM

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