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NYC Bans Smoking At Parks, Beaches

From a gleeful New York Times:

Smoking Ban for Beaches and Parks Is Approved

By JAVIER C. HERNANDEZ
February 2, 2011

After a bitter debate over individual liberties and the role of government, the City Council on Wednesday handily approved a bill to ban smoking in 1,700 city parks and along 14 miles of city beaches.

By a 36-to-12 vote, the Council passed the most significant expansion of antismoking laws since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pushed to prohibit smoking in restaurants and bars in 2002.

First, they came for our salt. But we didn’t eat much salt…

The Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, said the ban was an affirmation of the rights of nonsmokers. “Their health and their lives should not be negatively impacted because other people have decided to smoke,” Ms. Quinn said at a news conference…

Others said the ban would set a dangerous precedent. Councilman Daniel J. Halloran III of Queens said, “Once we pass this, we will next be banning smoking on sidewalks, and then in the cars of people who are driving minors and then in the homes.”

How preposterous. That will never happen. There should be a law against people saying such outlandish things.

“This summer, New Yorkers who go to our parks and beaches for some fresh air and fun will be able to breathe even cleaner air and sit on a beach not littered with cigarette butts,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement. Enforcement of the law will fall to the Department of Parks and Recreation, which can impose $50 fines

Which will soon quietly escalate to $500.

A city health department study published in 2009 found that 57 percent of nonsmoking adult New Yorkers had an elevated level of a nicotine byproduct in their blood indicating recent exposure to cigarette smoke. The comparable nationwide figure was 45 percent.

City health officials say that people seated within three feet of a smoker are exposed to roughly the same levels of secondhand smoke, regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors

Does any sane person believe this? Meanwhile, what is the abortion rate in NYC? Over forty percent?

In addition to applying to parks and beaches, the ban approved on Wednesday would extend to pedestrian malls and plazas like those in and around Times Square. One group will be exempted from the restrictions: actors lighting up a cigarette in a park or on a beach for the purposes of a theatrical production.

Well, the show must go on.

But come to think of it, what is to stop NYC from requiring that everyone using their parks and beaches have health insurance?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “NYC Bans Smoking At Parks, Beaches”

  1. Mr Michael

    I have this vision… a parkside cafe’ where the staff organizes their customers into a working Actors Studio every, oh, 15 minutes or so…

    “Hey Kids… Let’s put on a show!”

    Standing Room Only.

  2. Enthalpy

    The idea of Bloomberg even being given consideration for a Presidential run is ludicrous. I suppose that’s what makes his run for it inevitable. Failure at their clearly proscribed job requirements doesn’t begin to slow them down from making their attacks on all of the urban windmills.

    How much longer will we reward public officials for the reinvention of their jobs? While they ignore their stated job descriptions, they insist on further complicating our lives. We shouldn’t be surprised. After all, they know what’s best for us.

  3. My question goes to the typical liberal “excuse” for the need for sin taxes. I mean the state of New York makes more money on a pack of cigarettes than the freakin’ cigarette companies. And it’s all for the children. Money for education, or for after school programs, or for one bogus program or another that is designed to help the children…

    So if all that tax revenue is necessary for the good of the children, and you force people to stop smoking via overtaxing and these draconian restrictions on smokers, where will all the money for the children come from? The liberals are burning their proverbial candle at both ends. Taxing to manipulate behavior, restricting to manipulate behavior, but once they have their desired behavior from the masses… they’ll have to find a new source of money for all of their “good for the children” projects. Who do they come for next? Drinkers…? People who eat? People who breathe?

    For those out there who say, “Well, you shouldn’t smoke anyway.” or “It’s for your own good.”, just remember that when they come to you to collect your new and improved liquor tax, or your new and improved “sugary soda” tax, or your new and improved “you have too many pets” tax, or the “you’re only allowed to have one child” penalty. You know, because without cigarette tax revenues, the STATE can no longer afford to pay for residents to have more than one child per family. Nah, that could never happen here. Right?

  4. BannedbytheTaliban

    Raleigh also passed a similar ban this week:

    http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/9039926/

    Where would we be without the government to protect us from ourselves.

  5. GetBackJack

    I was at a party once where Bloomberg was in attendance (a short man) I asked him, as I pulled out a pack Shermans and my Zippo, “Mind if I smoke?” Bloomberg replied, “I don’t care if you burn.”

    My retort to him exactly these days.

  6. proreason

    “But this is how liberals work. They never give up. They never stop trying to gain more control over our lives. They just wear us down.”

    To them, power is better than sex, better than food, better than water, better than air.

    They are insane.

  7. TerryAnne

    I smoke and just had a few rounds with a liberal the other night.

    My apartment building is non-smoking in communal areas and has a very small area, completely open to air and wind, for us to use. However, there is nothing written in the parking garage about no smoking. The apartment complex put a small byline in our (waste of money) monthly community newsletter about how smoking is “illegal” in the parking garage for – get ready – the air is filled with gases and the small spark from the lighter could cause an explosion.

    Never mind the fact that it has one wall on two floors that are completely open and huge fans to circulate the air.

    Regardless, I still go down there when the weather is bad and cold, since it offers me some protection. I go to an area where there is no chance of someone walking through my smoke, only if they are going to their cars. And at 11 pm, the chance of that is rare.

    So, I’m down there Monday night around 11 pm, enjoying a smoke. Enter fat cow liberal hoo-hoo driving her car down the main aisle…which was two rows away from where I’m standing. She stops her car in the middle of the main aisle!!, leaves it running!!, and waddles over to tell me about how I’m putting her in danger. The conversation went something like this:

    Fat cow: Don’t you know smoking is illegal down here? Don’t you read our community newsletter.
    Me: Yes. Do you see any signs telling me No Smoking?
    Cow: No, but that’s besides the point. It’s dangerous to smoke down here and I don’t like you putting me in danger with your nasty habit.
    Me: Well, Betsy the Cow, do you know what starts a car?
    Cow: Fuel fumes?
    Me: A spark. A spark far greater than that caused by me flicking this and smoking this. You should be more afraid of starting your car if you are so concerned about the build-up of chemicals. Did you notice how cold it is down here? See those? Those are called windows and are allowing fresh air to circulate in. Moreso tonight since there is a minor storm out there and the wind is moving.
    Cow: Well, it’s rude and illegal. I don’t want to breathe in your cancer.
    Me: You stopped your car and walked over here to enter my space. I was not in your way, and nor was my smoke getting to you since you had your windows rolled up in the car you have left running and, thus, spewing far more carcinogens into the air. I don’t want to listen to your liberal crap, so we’re even. Oh, and by the way, do you own this place?
    Cow: That’s besides the point! I’m telling management on you and how you think their rules are stupid.
    Me: Go ahead. You have no idea who I am and no way to prove it. However, I certainly hope you hold your breathe everytime you enter here, given the “build up” of car exhaust which has been proven to cause more problems than smoke. Oh, and, be careful when you walk up the stairs to the manager’s office; I’d hate to see you have a heart attack since you are carrying around an unnecessary, at least, 100 pounds. Then again, the exercise might do you some good. Be sure to tell them my science, by the way.

    At that point, I tossed my cigarette butt on the ground (which I don’t normally do) and lit another one as she stompped off causing a shift on the Richter Scale. I said some plesant things to her retreating back, one of which rhymes with selfish witch.

    And I’m still smoking down there. :)

  8. Mae

    After years of working in a smoke-free building and living in a home where no one smoked, being around cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke does bother me. However, to make rules that smoking cannot be enjoyed in an open air environment is ridiculous. It’s my right to walk where people are NOT smoking; I don’t need to walk through. Even if there is smoke in an area I must traverse, tough luck. Takes, what, 10 seconds to be away from it? Not too long ago there were some studies which revealed that second hand smoke is not a danger anyway. The nanny state.

    • TerryAnne

      Take a look at this nugget: notice who funds the “research” that says first, second, third, ninehundred and thirty-seventh hand smoke causes cancer and respiratory problems; then look at who funds the research that smoking may not be nearly as harmful as people believe it is – to include normal smoking.

      :)

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    It’s been my experience that New Yorkers, not smokers, have generally had a negative impact on my life.

  10. Reality Bytes

    Many people don’t remember Bloomberg before he became mayor. Here a dramatization from docu-drama cinimatographer, Tim Burton, “The Making of a Mayor”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  11. One simple question Mayor Bloombergerloon: Does this also stop me from taking a four (4) finger pinch of chewing tobacco and then enjoying a long stroll down one of your “beautifully landscaped, trash paper free streets” while releasing a “used portion” of the pinch from time to time?

    • canary

      Tater Salad he wants NY Times square to be religiously correct for the muslims to pray on the sidewalks and in the streets.
      or….he wants it so that any smoke in Times Square raises a red burning flag a taxi might be ready to blow.
      You, can bet he will outlaw pork hot dogs too. Paris is having pork/wine protests to counter the growth of muslims praying on sidewalks making people terrified to leave their homes.
      Bloomberg and the NYTa figure if they are the enemy of the muslim’s enemy, they’ll be safe.

  12. beautyofreason

    “One group will be exempted from the restrictions: actors lighting up a cigarette in a park or on a beach for the purposes of a theatrical production.”

    I’m waiting from some entrepreneur to set up a “public art stand” that includes a camera and charges by the hour. I’m sure there would be some smokers who would be willing to pay – for the privilege of being in the theatrical production. Just wait for the artist statement: “a provocative manifesto of social consciousness and ritualistic meditation driven by cultural forces and subject to popular controversy” or something. An empty room could in the owner’s basement could play the video, to satisfy the “theatrical” bit of the law. Maybe they can even get it funded by the NEA.




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