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Agglomeration
March 29th, 2003, 11:59 PM
(This law is disgusting. I'm a non smoker, but this law could be a precedent for turning New York City into an over-feminized Puritan sheepland, enforced by law. What next, strict noise ordinances? strict limits on establishment capacity? sting operations against those smoking outside establishments? a law requring all retail places to shut down at 10 PM? When will this Puritanization end? Even the Giuliani Administration wasn't this paranoid about secondhand smoke, much less noise or nightlife.)

By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - In a smoke-choked Manhattan tavern, Cynthia Candiotti asked a neighbor for a light and took a deep drag on her cigarette, savoring a last barstool puff before the city outlawed smoking in bars and nightclubs.

For Candiotti, 26, the ban is a double whammy: "I can't tell you how many dates with cute guys I've gotten by looking into his eyes while he lights me up. That's as good as smoking."

With fear, loathing and lament, the city of Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart and Philip Morris USA was ushering in the smoke-free age Sunday, one tick after midnight.

Goodbye to the cloying smell of cloves. The wispy white rings that settle into a layer of haze at bars, pubs and nightclubs. The smoker's hack and smelly clothes after a night out, whether you smoked or not. The phone number written on a matchbook cover.

"First they cleaned up Times Square, then they said you couldn't dance in bars or drink a beer in the park. Now you can't even smoke when you go out on the town," said Willie Martinez, 37, who sat, chain-smoking, in an East Village bar. "This is like no-fun city."

"There's one word for this: Ridiculous. Stalinesque. Brutal," interrupted Elliot Kovner, 48, as he added a few choice vulgarities.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (epitome of PC Evil), a former smoker himself, pushed through the ban with a zeal that angered smokers and even some nonsmokers. He stood firm even when an incensed smoker wearing a Superman suit showed up at City Hall carrying a 12-foot-long ersatz cigarette and a sign threatening him.

Health issues are a priority for Bloomberg, a billionaire who once donated $100 million to Johns Hopkins University.

"Fundamentally, people just don't want the guy next to them smoking," Bloomberg said. "People will adjust very quickly and a lot of lives will be saved."

The ban covers all workplaces, including bars, small restaurants, bingo parlors and other venues not covered by the city's previous smoking law. Owners of establishments could be fined $400 for allowing smoking and eventually could have their business licenses suspended.

A state anti-smoking law passed Wednesday is even tougher, closing a city loophole that granted an exemption for businesses that provide enclosed smoking rooms. That law takes effect this summer.

The bans have led to fears that bars will go out of business and rumors that secret "smoke-easies" will pop up — but of course, New Yorkers can be given to exaggeration.

Proprietors in California complained when a similar rule was enacted four years ago, but business did not drop significantly and polls showed most patrons backed the ban.

About 400 communities nationwide have adopted smoking bans in restaurants, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation.

But none has New York's history of smoking, from the smoke-filled back rooms of Tammany Hall and the old neon cigarette signs of Times Square to the "loosie" — a single cigarette sold in bodegas for as much as $1 to customers who can't afford a $7 pack. (City and state taxes have lifted cigarette prices to among the nation's highest.)

Until the 1920s, 30 percent of all cigarettes produced in North America were manufactured in the New York metropolitan area.

Philip Morris, long headquartered in midtown Manhattan, announced a few days after the city ban was approved that it would move to Virginia by 2004. Economic reasons, the company said.

Smoking, ban opponents say, is part of the city's in-your-face, adrenaline-fueled culture.

"A ban might work in California," said Eddie Dean, who owns a club called Discotheque and a bar called Tiki Lounge. "New Yorkers are defined as a different kind of person. It's a gruffer place. It's less healthy. People are a little more aggressive. I just can't see them tolerating it."

Back at the Orange Bear in the Tribeca section of Manhattan, Cynthia Candiotti's face was obscured behind a cloud of smoke.

"Smoking and boys have sort of always gone together," she said, considering her cigarette. "Smoking, I'll probably quit. Boys, that's a whole other matter."

Kris
March 30th, 2003, 06:21 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/30/nyregion/30SMOK.html

Agglomeration
March 31st, 2003, 08:54 PM
Many people oppose this new law, which was directly proposed by Bloomberg, and for good reason. My opinion is in a second Internet petition I may let loose later:

We Condemn the Politically Correct Attack on New York City’s Nightlife, Including The Anti-Smoking Law

We oppose the citywide and statewide anti-smoking laws prohibiting smoking in all bars, all clubs, and all lounges, and even pool halls and bowling alleys in New York City and New York State. We who have signed the petition (both smokers and non-smokers) condemn this blatant violation of civil rights and blatant pandering to political correctness that has corrupted both California and Massachusetts.

Banning smoking makes no sense when the city has its share of tens of thousands of drug addicts that need treatment; the city is still recovering from a recession that threw 210,000 people out of work after 9-11, and the threat of further terrorist attacks has not fully gone away. All these factors hurt the city’s inhabitants much more extensively than second-hand smoke. Smoking is already prohibited in office buildings, public buildings, most indoor theaters, and public transportation lines, and these can stay. But to take the ban to restaurants, bars, clubs, lounges, bowling alleys, and pool halls (even those with adequate ventilation and fire safety standards) just because some weaklings complained about smoky rooms , is completely absurd and unjustified.

We also oppose this prohibition, because it could also encourage the city and state governments, and the politically correct forces backing the current law, to impose other laws against its famous nightlife, requiring strict noise ordinances that are impossible for any establishment to adapt to, limiting capacity at most establishments, effectively strangling them of revenue, and even a shutdown law that could require virtually all establishments to close as early as 1 AM. That means all concerts, musicals, and even restaurants could be forced to shut down right at 1 AM, even earlier. Even the Giuliani Administration crackdown on nightlife began only after people began overdosing on Ecstasy and other drugs, and club owners did nothing to stop it.

Such restrictive laws could constrict New York’s famous nightlife and turn it into another clone of both Boston and Los Angeles, where virtually all establishments must close after 2 AM, sometimes 1 AM, there is virtually nothing, not even restaurants, to go to at those times, and where all retail places (except 7-Elevens) must shut down after 10 PM . This has the effect of stifling the city economy by limiting the number of night jobs available and driving away customers, restricting the creation of more vital jobs in a time when NY is still recovering from 9-11, is suffering a budget deficit, and overburdening our police officers and firemen who are on high alert for more terrorist attacks and the possibility of a rise in crime.

New York is not Albany, it’s not Boston, and it’s not Los Angeles. It should be none of these three. Thus we call upon the New York City and New York State Governments to reconsider the absurd laws, rescind them as soon as possible, go back to the original restrictions (which work very well), and help keep it from becoming another 9-to-5 Boston clone.

Note: The person who created this petition is a non-smoker. *

billyblancoNYC
March 31st, 2003, 10:55 PM
I agree.

I hate smoke and hate coming home wreaking of smoke, but it's NYC and it's a bar. *Hello, don't go and don't work there...

Also, the city needs to lighten up on bars, clubs (dance and strip), etc. *NYC nightlife has been and should always be a MAJOR part of NYC. *It's why many people are here and it is one major factor that sets us apart from everywhere else.

It annoys me that a business that makes a lot of money for the city and the owners/employees is looked upon as "evil."

Damnit, I'm gonna start ranting, so...

Agglomeration
April 3rd, 2003, 02:06 PM
I finally created the petition (read text above) condemning this anti-smoking ban (AND Bloomberg) onto petitiononline.com. Sign it as you see fit.

"Dear Jason M,

Thank you for using our free petition hosting service.
Your "We Condemn the Politically Correct Assault on New York City's Nightlife Including the Unjustified Smoking Ban" petition is now live online at www.PetitionOnline.com, and it will be considered for linking from the PetitionOnline.com directory pages.

The main URL for your petition is:

* http://www.PetitionOnline.com/nycsn609/petition.html

PetitionOnline"

Agglomeration
April 4th, 2003, 12:17 AM
(Forgive me for pressing the issue, but I feel as strongly about the smoking ban as I do about the WTC rebuilding process. And that's not all. In my part of Queens, the authorities actually closed down several bars and clubs over excess person capacity. I mean it. If this keeps up, we may even see these politicians press for a law forcing all establishments to close by 1 AM. God help us all.)

Prohibition is back without any of the fun

Sidney Zion (NY Daily News)

The smart money says that if Saddam Hussein barred smoking, no smart bombs would have been necessary - the Iraqi people would have snuffed him out quicker than a long drag on a Camel or a Cohiba.

But what Saddam would not dare to do, Mike Bloomberg, the Lord Mayor of New York City, accomplished in a year. And George Pataki, El Jefe of the state, did in a day.

Just like that, our leaders vanquished the great tobacco lobby and the powerful restaurant and tavern owners, who only yesterday were seen as holding our politicians as so many pawns in their monied hands.

And here we are, in the freest city in the world, in the greatest state, left to live with prohibition. "Wonderful nice," as my daddy would have said, irony peeling from his lips. But of course, he came from another era, when men and women thumbed their noses at the Puritans whose only concern was that somebody somewhere was having a good time.

Nobody missed a drink in those days, certainly not in New York. Jimmy Walker was our night mayor, Al Smith our wet governor. Speakeasies sprang up like flowers in May.

The prohibitionists put their game over by insisting the devil rum was destroying the health of the American family. It wasn't just the drunk who was hurt, it was his children and the economy - no boozer could work hard in the factories and offices of the nation.

Bloomberg says today that he is protecting bartenders and waiters from the devil weed. Kill yourself if you will, but not the innocent workers who are forced to inhale your cancer sticks.

Pataki not only agrees, he rushes through the Legislature an even harsher law. He can't get a budget passed, but this he does in a day, together with the Democrats in the Assembly and the Republicans in the state Senate.

Of course, neither Lord Bloomberg nor El Jefe asks the bartenders and waiters. I never met one who wants this law. Most of them smoke. I know some who are in their 80s, and they don't even cough. But what do they know? In the Brave New World, the government knows what's good for you.

The sad thing is that few fight it. The tobacco people and the restaurant people threw down their arms like the French Army on the Maginot line. They refused to challenge the fake science on second-hand smoke, thus allowing the full-scale brainwashing of the public. The smokers complained, but they were seen as whiners against the New Order.

How did the sons and daughters of the fighters against government control of our lives turn into supine followers? The health fascists got to them. Reporters and politicians who used to hang together at saloons in Manhattan and Albany now go to gyms. They don't know what people like me are talking about. If you don't drink and don't smoke, you can't imagine what the problem is - there is no problem.

One night at the Players Club in the 1920s, a member called and asked that they send him a case of Scotch. It was Christmas Eve, and the club was in full drinking force.

But who to deliver it to this member at his party? "We got the cop on the beat to run it over," said the president of the Players.

Saddam would do the same, or like the head of the Players, he'd be deposed.

Originally published on April 2, 2003

Bennie B
April 14th, 2003, 07:44 AM
Looks like the war on tobacco just saw its first casualty:
Bouncer Dies, and Family Blames City's Smoking Ban (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/14/nyregion/14STAB.html)

Agglomeration
April 14th, 2003, 10:59 AM
All right. I've had it up to here with this ridiculous ban. I condemn both the killing of the bouncer (the killers will most certainly be imprisoned for a long time) and the stupid law that led to it. How many more fights must erupt before people wake up to this politically correct trash that Bloomie's promoting?

The first petition condemning the smoking ban was deleted for some reason, so I've revitalized it in a new link: http://www.petitiononline.com/nycsm619/

Please sign it. We need to get the message across that this PC trend has to be stopped before either more people die in fights like this or new laws destroying the city's nightlife are passed.

(Edited by Agglomeration at 11:01 am on April 14, 2003)

Ptarmigan
April 16th, 2003, 07:08 PM
The smoking ban is non-sense. I hate smoking with a passion, but this ridiculous. I wish those nannies just shut up. Someone needs to treat them like terrorists.

Kris
April 19th, 2003, 05:21 AM
A Better Smoking Law
To the Editor:

New York City's antismoking law (news article, April 18) could have been parlayed into a big money-maker for the city if enacted differently.

A smoking permit should have been offered, for a price and renewable once a year, as an option to businesses that desired it. The fee would be based on the business's seating capacity. Bars and restaurants would have to display a sign that smoking is permitted, giving the consumer freedom to choose. The operative word is freedom.

ZACH KATSIHTIS
Bardonia, N.Y., April 18, 2003

Schadenfrau
April 21st, 2003, 10:17 AM
Has anyone been hanging out in the bars since the smoking ban took effect?

From what I can tell, business really seems to be down. The Economist reported that it's down by at least 20%, but I would be surprised if it were that little.

NYatKNIGHT
April 21st, 2003, 10:53 AM
The bars seem the same to me, except for more people smoking out on the sidewalk.

ZippyTheChimp
April 21st, 2003, 11:29 AM
I've also not noticed any significant change. In fact, I'm surprised at how transparent it's been. It will take time to
determine if this is successful or not. The same things were said years ago when smoking was banned in office buildings. It's pretty much taken for granted now.

I stopped smoking before there were any anti-smoking laws, but smoking was not permitted in my workplace (electronic equipment). This helped me considerably. During this time, two places were off limits, poker games and bars. It was a rough six months.

If you believe tht 2nd hand smoke is a health hazard, then smoking sections that are not closed off are ridiculous. There are conflicting reports on this subject, but that same debate raged concerning smoking.

I can't make a judgment on the fairness of the law, since it
makes no difference to me; however, none of my friends who smoke are complaining.

Schadenfrau
April 21st, 2003, 11:59 AM
I'll certainly complain. I used to go out about three times a week and have been out twice since the smoking ban, both times to places where I'm legally allowed to smoke. I reckon that I've saved myself quite a bit of money, but I'm going a bit stir-crazy being inside.

Agglomeration
April 30th, 2003, 11:10 PM
(This really pisses me off. If this keeps up we may soon start seeing a proposal for injunctions shutting down the city after 1 AM :angry: ! Sorry if I sound angry but this health zealotry by Bloomberg is getting out of hand. Please sign http://www.petitiononline.com/nycsm619/ and feel free to spread the word.)

SMOKE-BAN ENFORCEMENT BEGINS ISSUING FINES

By STEPHANIE GASKELL (NY POST)

April 30, 2003 -- The city dished out 71 warnings for illegal puffing during the first month of Mayor Bloomberg's smoking ban - and starting tomorrow, bar owners will face fines if they let customers light up.
May 1 will mark the end of the Health Department's one-month "grace period" that helped New Yorkers get used to the law, which bans smoking in all bars and restaurants. During the past month, owners faced only a warning.

But beginning tomorrow, businesses caught violating the law can be fined $200 for the first offense, and face increasing penalties after that.

Three violations within 12 months could cost them their license.

The department has 100 inspectors combing the city for violators, plus an extra dozen who will work night shifts to hit bars and restaurants.

In the past month, inspectors visited more than 3,000 businesses, including unlikely places such as day-care centers, according to spokesman Greg Butler.

They cited 71 establishments, including 65 bars and restaurants.

The city is not citing smokers themselves, just the business owners.

The city law allows smoking in cigar bars that earn more than 10 percent of their revenue from the sale of tobacco products, single-owner operated bars and special smoking rooms. An outdoor cafe may permit smoking in 25 percent of its seats.

But earlier this month, Gov. Pataki signed into law an even tougher smoking ban, which supersedes the city law.

The state law, which takes effect July 23, allows smoking only in cigar bars.

Rob Bookman, president of the New York Nightlife Association, said he doesn't anticipate a large number of bars being shut down because of enforcement of the law.

"It would be hard to see it getting to three tickets," he said. "That would just be stupid."

Bar and restaurant workers agree and say they're ready.

"We began enforcement of the law from Day One, so May 1 doesn't really change anything for us," said Ian Duke, general manager of Prohibition on the Upper West Side.

"People have been very respectful and tolerant of the law."

Jimmy Rodriguez, who owns Jimmy's Downtown on 57th Street, said he's expecting a shipment of big ashtrays today to put out on the sidewalk for smokers who are forced to go outside.

"I've just told my employees to ask people to smoke outside and to be as kind as you can to the guests," he said.

David Rabin, co-owner of Lotus nightclub in the Meatpacking District, is handing out written notices informing his customers of the ban.

"We are very grateful for your business and hope that you will continue to patronize Lotus despite our need to enforce the ban," the letter reads.

The letter also lists e-mail addresses for Pataki, Bloomberg and other politicians so that customers can write to ask them to lift the ban.

Gunslinger
May 9th, 2003, 05:58 AM
Can someone tell me is it all bars that are affected by this ridiculous draconeon law or just those under a certain size/capacity.

It occurs to me job advertisments for bars where smoking is allowed could carry the Surgeons General Warning and those who don't mind or do smoke could work in these places.

How daft is this ?!?!?!?!?

NYatKNIGHT
May 9th, 2003, 10:38 AM
Almost all bars are affected, with the exception of a few who have maintained a tobacco bar status. I know of a few downtown who have ignored the ban altogether - there are definitely some die-hards out there. But most places with outdoor areas still allow smoking at outside tables.

Gunslinger, your idea may be sensible (or not), either way, I'm SURE that every conceivable argument has been tried - to no avail.

Lightning Homer
May 9th, 2003, 01:28 PM
Don't you smell something ? * :cool:

Kris
May 16th, 2003, 05:19 AM
May 16, 2003

Want to Smoke? Go to Hamburg

By JOE JACKSON

LYON, France

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm thinking of leaving New York for a city that's free and tolerant and treats me like an adult. Berlin, maybe, or Barcelona, or even London, the city I left nearly 20 years ago.

I came to live in New York to be a musician and a bohemian, but the last time my band played in the city, in April, there were no fewer than five "No Smoking" signs in our dressing room. Two weeks later in Hamburg, Germany, our dressing room had five ashtrays. You can guess where we felt more welcome.

New York used to have an edge — that sense that something thrilling can happen at any moment and that anyone, not just rich people and tourists, can be a part of it. Now even the bohemians are turning sanctimonious. Singers I know, who got through 20 years of smoky gigs, have become overnight converts to the total smoking ban in New York (though they don't complain about the smoke when they're in Europe). Can't we just be grown up? Besides, a bit of haze in the air makes the lights look better.

The smoking ban is just one part of the strangulation of New York's night life — a crackdown on everything from topless bars to noise — which began under Rudolph Giuliani and has continued under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Many of us preferred the old X-rated Times Square to the new "Disneyfied" version. Besides, shouldn't a great city be able to tolerate a red-light district?

Nightclubs and bars can't allow their patrons to dance unless they have an expensive, hard-to-obtain cabaret license; clubs are closed if even one customer is found using drugs; and rich condominium owners who move into neighborhoods made fashionable by trendy clubs go to court to complain about the noise.

But the smoking ban is the last straw, the thing that has me packing my bags in utter disgust. And the new state law that is going into effect in July is even more draconian. What exactly is the problem with separate, enclosed, ventilated smoking areas?

I like a couple of cigarettes or a cigar with a drink, and like many other people, I only smoke in bars or nightclubs. Now I can't go to any of my old haunts. Bartenders who were friends have turned into cops, forcing me outside to shiver in the cold and curse under my breath (the bar can also be fined if I make too much noise). I go back inside to find my drink gone, along with my place at the bar. It's no fun. Smokers are being demonized and victimized all out of proportion.

"Get over it," say the anti-smokers. "You're the minority." I thought a great city was a place where all kinds of minorities could thrive. "The smoking ban works in Los Angeles," they say. But Los Angeles has a very different culture, not to mention more space and a better climate for outdoor smoking. "Smoking kills," they say. As an occasional smoker with otherwise healthy habits, I'll take my chances. Health consciousness is important but so are pleasure and freedom of choice.

As for secondhand smoke, there is research that shows it's not nearly as dangerous as some, like Mayor Bloomberg, would have us believe. And common sense tells you that a bit of smoke now and again, just when you're in a bar, isn't going to kill you — especially if you're in a separate nonsmoking section.

There are ways to keep everyone happy. Make high-tech clean-air ventilation units, which are used in many pubs in London, compulsory; they really do suck out most of the smoke from the air. Have separate smoking rooms. Have separate smoking establishments. Stop putting unreasonable restrictions on smoking outdoors; if traffic fumes, garbage trucks, panhandlers and who knows what else can't spoil a tough New Yorker's al fresco supper, surely we can handle a bit of cigarette smoke.

Let employees who smoke, or are prepared to sign some sort of waiver, work the smoking venues. Have smoke-free serving areas and let patrons carry their own drinks into smoking areas. Keep the ban but allow people to apply for exemptions or smoking licenses. Limit the number of licenses so that plenty of places remain smoke free.

See how reasonable (or desperate) we smokers are? We just want somewhere to enjoy a legal product in a sociable environment. This can be resolved in a spirit of tolerance, which is increasingly rare in this increasingly joyless city. Bar and club operators should unite and lobby for fairer laws. Meanwhile, London is looking pretty good. Or Paris, or Moscow. . . .

Joe Jackson, the recording artist, is author of "A Cure for Gravity." His latest album is "Joe Jackson Band: Volume 4."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
May 16th, 2003, 09:16 AM
Wait a minute. Let's draw a distinction between smoking bars and topless bars.

Spectator sex is the inherent right of every American male.

I never took visiting businessmen out for cigaretes.

Schadenfrau
May 16th, 2003, 11:21 AM
I have.

NYatKNIGHT
May 16th, 2003, 11:30 AM
It's so true - all these crack downs are embarrassing. This isn't Indianapolis. I'd back a red-light district in a heartbeat.

ZippyTheChimp
May 16th, 2003, 12:58 PM
Oh-oh. Before my significant other reads this, I'll amend my last post to include female.

Or I'll need sleeping mitts.

Agglomeration
May 17th, 2003, 10:04 PM
I wouldn't go as far to bring back red-light districts, certainly not to Times Square or elsewhere. We don't need hookers or strippers hanging out at every street corner, attracting drug dealers or serial rapists.

But this smoking ban has clearly gone too far, and I've heard reports of some lost business. If this keeps going on any longer, we may have sleep researchers and other health activists calling for curfews to be imposed on the city Boston-style. Let's hope this latter horror doesn't happen.

TLOZ Link5
May 18th, 2003, 03:44 PM
There's really nowhere that we can put a red-light district that's relatively devoid of residents. *People would generally complain about that sort of ::ahem:: business going on in their neighborhood, not to mention that we'd never be able to displace them all to accomodate said businesses.

NYatKNIGHT
May 19th, 2003, 10:35 AM
NIMBYs fight street lights and seven storey buildings, there's no way in hell a red light district could ever pop up in Manhattan. But don't kid yourself, some city streets as they are now are far more dangerous than a government regulated red light district would be.

In New York, you can still go to an all-nude strip club, you can play high stakes black jack, you can drink after 4am, and you can even smoke at a bar. More an more illegal "after hours" places open all the time with every new restriction, just as speakeasies flourished during Prohibition. The city shouldn't be a secret underworld, a little more toleration would go a long way.

billyblancoNYC
May 19th, 2003, 10:36 AM
I think there might be some relatively unused industrial areas that could house a red-light. *Hell, Hunt's Point already has an illegal one, why not clean it up, get it on the tax rolls and "class up the joint?"

Kris
May 19th, 2003, 04:57 PM
Hunts Point doesn't even have a subway stop within its core.


May 19, 2003

No Smoking in New York. See Ya. (5 Letters)

To the Editor:

When I first heard about the new smoking ban, I felt the same way as the recording artist Joe Jackson ("Want to Smoke? Go to Hamburg," Op-Ed, May 16) — that the city was just putting more restrictions on having fun.

I don't smoke, but I've always felt that smoking and drinking do go together. Then a few weeks ago I was in a New York City bar for the first time since the ban was put into place, and I must admit it was a relief to be able to breathe clean air. I'm sure that for people who are addicted to nicotine, it is an inconvenience, but even my friends who are smokers tell me they prefer the cleaner air. Besides, doesn't smoking strain vocal cords? *
NICK FLATTERY
Ridgefield Park, N.J., May 16, 2003

To the Editor:

I am sorry that Joe Jackson is thinking about leaving the country because of New York's smoking ban (Op-Ed, May 16). Mr. Jackson should keep in mind that the main reason for this ban was to protect the workers, not just the patrons.

As he stated, there are many compromises that can be made to allow smokers to smoke in establishments without bothering the nonsmoking patrons, but the workers would still be affected. Given the high rate of unemployment, you can't argue that if you don't want to work in a smoking environment, you should get another job. All people should have equal access to employment, which I believe overrides equal access to smoking environments.

Good luck to Mr. Jackson in his search for a new home. I will welcome him back to New York when he finds that any other place he chooses to live in will eventually come up with its own type of smoking regulations that don't suit him.
HEIDI SILVERSTONE
New York, May 16, 2003

To the Editor:

Even though I am a lifelong nonsmoker, I agree with Joe Jackson ("Want to Smoke? Go to Hamburg," Op-Ed, May 16). New York's ban is more government intrusion in people's private lives, which ironically seems to be happening more and more in Republican administrations.

If Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg really cares about the health of restaurant and bar workers, how about getting them some good health care coverage? *
DAVID JENKINS
New York, May 16, 2003

To the Editor:

The May 16 Op-Ed articles by Joe Jackson and Kirk Douglas about smoking were both right and wrong.

As smokers past and present can attest, it isn't that easy to quit. But it can be done. In my case, in 1967 I was going through three packs a day, until I was overcome with one powerful incentive: fear. I became convinced if I failed to quit I'd be dead in two years or less. I did manage to quit, but it took several weeks and a gradual tapering off.

As for Mr. Jackson, he is wrong to think his smoking could be tolerated by nonsmokers; I became so intolerant of ambient smoke that I gave up one of my favorite passions, bowling. I became aware that the odor of secondhand smoke permeated my clothing, a condition of which I had been previously ignorant.

Smoking is an insidious addiction, and those who are "occasional" smokers are rare indeed. Mr. Jackson can go find freedom to do his thing wherever he pleases, but not in my neighborhood.
STANLEY KUSHNER
Toms River, N.J., May 16, 2003

To the Editor:

To Joe Jackson's list of smoke-friendly cities (Op-Ed, May 16) I would add Lisbon, where I attended a business dinner last week. The restaurant was crowded, the buzz lively, and yes, some people were smoking. It seemed to disturb no one, and the ambience was nothing short of energizing.

Why not allow individual establishments to choose whether they are smoking or nonsmoking environments, and, as Mr. Jackson suggested, let the consumer decide? Surely the dictate of free commerce is a cause Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg should support? *
KEN CARLTON
Brooklyn, May 16, 2003


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

(Edited by Christian Wieland at 11:35 am on May 22, 2003)

Worm in the BigApple
May 19th, 2003, 06:13 PM
Haha wow...banning poisonous fumes from being spread throughout a public place? *weep* That's awful! I think every time a person enters a restaurant, they *should* be forced to inhale toxic carcinogens!

---In all seriousness, I feel that this is a good law, a person who enters a public restaurant should not be placed in an environment that is unsafe. Period.

NYatKNIGHT
May 20th, 2003, 10:23 AM
And what do you say about the toxic carcinogens emanating from our cars and buses? We are forced to breathe that! *Weep* Let's ban outdoor dining as well - how can we force workers to work under those conditions!

Where does it end?

It apparently isn't about YOU or any person who enters a public restaurant as you proclaimed. It's about workers, and in some places it's a conundrum. The bartender at Arthur's Tavern (Jazz Club) told me that business is so low they may now close a few nights a week. This place is famous for free jazz every night! What a shame. The three bartenders (who happen to smoke) aren't making the money they used to, and if the place closes they have to go look for another job in a bad economy. Way to look out for the workers! And who cares about small businesses, I guess.

Look, I don't smoke cigarettes and I'm all for no smoking in restaurants. It has been a pleasure to breathe clean air in bars and not come home smelling like an ashtray. But the law is way too restrictive. Can't there be some place where smokers (including many of our tourists) can go and have a beer and a cigarette if they want? You don't have to go there if you don't want to breathe it. You can get off your high horse and go spread carcinogens from your S.U.V. instead.

Gunslinger
May 20th, 2003, 11:02 AM
What I don't understand is why we can't have smoking sections in bars.
I my office in the UK we have a smokers rest room, comfortable chairs and a massive extractor fan keeping the air transparent (well kinda)

In restaurants here we have non-smoking sections and as a smoker with several friends who don't smoke I frequently sit in non-smoking, with no smell of smoke nearby.
We also have a couple of restaurants run by owners from the continent (Spain & France) who have NO non-smoking section and if people complain, a shrug of the shoulders is the only response likely to be forthcoming. There attitude, if you don't want to eat here (because of the smoke) DON'T.
These are 2 very popular restaurants and as such don't need the custom. *
I agree that in those bars with waiter/ress service, smokers could collect their own drinks, unless the bar staff smoke, in which case they could serve/deliver the drinks.

I'm coming to NY for the first time in years, this Sept and would like to sit in a bar and have a drink & smoke, does this ban affect Cigar Bars and if so it looks like the pavement for me !!!

NYatKNIGHT
May 20th, 2003, 11:30 AM
For the most part it is the pavement for you. There are cigar bars, but I'm not sure where they are - yet. Also, if you ask around you'll find some bars that don't care if people smoke - they try to fly under the radar, so I won't post them here. I also know some places that allow smoking late night, say after midnight, when the staff of one is the owner. Furthermore, lots of places have maximized their outdoor areas where you can smoke, and in September the weather is more than pleasant enough to do your partying outside.

Schadenfrau
May 20th, 2003, 02:30 PM
I've been going to Circa Tabac a lot. It's one of the six or so bars not affected by the ban. The scene's really great.

Kris
May 20th, 2003, 07:20 PM
I recently viewed a French program in which the result of a test was that the amount of smoke in a non-smoking section was actually far worse than in the smoking section, probably because of the arched roof - demonstrating the futility of such separations. The latest published study minimalizing the dangers of second-hand smoke was done using a dubious method by two scientists with ties to the tobacco industry. This is just to remind you that you can't dismiss health concerns so easily.

To comment on Joe's remarks:

Nightclubs and bars can't allow their patrons to dance unless they have an expensive, hard-to-obtain cabaret license; clubs are closed if even one customer is found using drugs; and rich condominium owners who move into neighborhoods made fashionable by trendy clubs go to court to complain about the noise.

But the smoking ban is the last straw, the thing that has me packing my bags in utter disgust. And the new state law that is going into effect in July is even more draconian. What exactly is the problem with separate, enclosed, ventilated smoking areas?
What he describes in the first paragraph is outrageous; the smoking ban far less so. His letter is generally exaggerated. But I agree with his proposals:

There are ways to keep everyone happy. Make high-tech clean-air ventilation units, which are used in many pubs in London, compulsory; they really do suck out most of the smoke from the air. Have separate smoking rooms. Have separate smoking establishments. Stop putting unreasonable restrictions on smoking outdoors; if traffic fumes, garbage trucks, panhandlers and who knows what else can't spoil a tough New Yorker's al fresco supper, surely we can handle a bit of cigarette smoke.

Let employees who smoke, or are prepared to sign some sort of waiver, work the smoking venues. Have smoke-free serving areas and let patrons carry their own drinks into smoking areas. Keep the ban but allow people to apply for exemptions or smoking licenses. Limit the number of licenses so that plenty of places remain smoke free.

(Edited by Christian Wieland at 7:38 pm on May 20, 2003)

Kris
May 23rd, 2003, 06:00 AM
May 23, 2003

2 Bills Would Soften Smoking Ban Approved 2 Months Ago

By WINNIE HU

ALBANY, May 22 — State legislators are considering two proposals that would weaken a new state smoking ban by allowing people to light up in bars and restaurants that build stand-alone smoking rooms, or are operated by their owners.

The proposals, which were introduced in separate Assembly and Senate bills on Wednesday, come less than two months after the Legislature enacted a tough antismoking law in nearly all workplaces.

These proposals reflect the mounting opposition to the new law among politicians, smokers, and bar and restaurant owners across the state.

The state ban, which goes into effect July 24, would apply to localities that either do not have antismoking laws, or that have less restrictive ones.

In New York City, it would strengthen the ban that went into effect on March 30 by eliminating exemptions for certain businesses.

The proposals, if approved, would amend the state law by essentially incorporating several of the city exemptions, and in some cases, expanding upon them.

For instance, the city ban allows bars and nightclubs to operate separately ventilated smoking rooms for up to three years, while the state ban does not.

The Assembly and Senate proposals would allow the smoking rooms to remain indefinitely in restaurants, as well as bars. The proposals would also restore a city exemption for establishments personally operated by their owners.

In addition, the Senate proposal would provide a tax incentive to those who build smoking rooms by allowing them to deduct the depreciation on such investments over a shorter period. For instance, a restaurant owner who spends $50,000 to create a smoking room would now reap a tax benefit of $320 a year over 39 years. Under the proposed change, the same owner would receive $4,166 a year over three years.

The proposals have drawn support so far from 26 Democratic Assembly members and 11 Republican senators from across the state, including several from New York City. Though many of these lawmakers initially voted for the smoking ban, they now say that it goes too far and will devastate local businesses.

"I did not realize the impact that it would have," said Senator Martin J. Golden of Brooklyn, who is sponsoring the Senate bill. The senator, who owns a catering hall in Bay Ridge, said he had already lost some of his business because customers can no longer smoke under the city ban.

His bill, he said, "is just an addition that allows those who want to smoke an option as well."

"The nonsmoker is not affected here," Mr. Golden said.

Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito, who represents the Utica area, said she had received two dozen complaints from local business owners, including one billiard hall owner who spent $66,000 to build a smoking room. She said that even with the proposed changes, the antismoking law would still protect employees from secondhand smoke.

"I believe that we are going a little too far when it comes to the bars and taverns and neighborhood establishments," she said. "This is a way, I believe, that we can maintain the integrity of the smoking ban and still have a compromise."

But several antismoking advocates pounced on the bills today, pledging to block any effort to weaken the smoking ban. "This is very bad," said Russell C. Sciandra, director of the Center for a Tobacco Free New York. "They're trying to gut the law that we just passed."

This week, hundreds of restaurant and bar owners, mainly from upstate New York, temporarily shut down their Quick Draw lottery terminals to protest the state smoking ban. State lottery officials said that Quick Draw ticket sales had dropped by $537,905 since Monday.

In addition, many restaurant and bar owners have lobbied state representatives and circulated petitions among patrons, and some have passed out buttons. One that reads "I vote, I smoke, it's my right" has been distributed at Nothin' Fancy, a restaurant in Vernon.

Abe Acee, the restaurant's owner, said, "If we want to smoke, we should be able to smoke."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
May 23rd, 2003, 05:56 PM
I'd be completely fine with pressurized smoking rooms.

Kris
July 8th, 2003, 01:01 AM
July 8, 2003

Smoking Ban Obeyed, or Enforcers Go Easy

By ANDREA ELLIOTT

Restaurants and bars in New York City appear to be complying with the new smoking ban. Only 23 were cited for permitting smoking in May, a tiny fraction of the city's 20,000 bars, restaurants and clubs, officials said yesterday.

The number could also reflect the leniency of city inspectors, who are still trying to educate violators rather than fine them, some restaurant owners and city officials said.

Compliance is encouraged by fines, starting at $200 and shooting up to as much as $2,000 for a third offense in a year, and by the risk of losing licenses to operate.

"We're not seeing a great number of violations, as our numbers make clear," said Sandra Mullin, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "There's certainly a combination of enforcement and education going on."

Restaurant and bar workers face a steep learning curve with the new law, which not only bans smoking but also penalizes less obvious signs that smoking may be occurring: the presence of ashtrays or the absence of "No Smoking" signs, each considered a violation with a first-offense fine of $200.

Alain Denneulin, 48, the owner of the Resto Léon at 351 East 12th Street, is still trying to master the new law after three visits by inspectors (yet only one fine, for having ashtrays on a table).

"We knew about the ban, but people were smoking on the tables," Mr. Denneulin said, gesturing to several small round tables on the sidewalk at the entrance.

Smoking is allowed at 25 percent of those tables, under rules permitting some smoking on terraces, an inspector told him.

On later visits by inspectors, Mr. Denneulin learned that smokers outside must be able to see the sky. Their smoke must not be trapped by an awning, which at his club hangs too far forward.

Most of his smoking customers now linger around a small steel bench a few steps from the sidewalk tables, and their noise irritates people who live upstairs.

It is a far cry from the dining culture in Mr. Denneulin's hometown, Antibes, in the south of France.

"You sit down, you eat, you drink, you smoke a cigarette," he said. "That's the way it should be."

Available to help teach restaurant and bar workers the rules of the new nonsmoking era are more than 100 inspectors and a small group of "environmental technicians."

The technicians, recently hired, focus more on spotting smoking-ban violations than do the inspectors, who also inspect for sanitation violations.

There are nine environmental technicians, but the city is budgeted for 12 and will continue hiring, Ms. Mullin said.

The inspectors usually work until 11 p.m. but many are working into the early morning hours checking late-night establishments, she said.

The city has cited 70 restaurants, bars and clubs for violations, including the 23 where people were actually smoking. The city has fielded 500 complaints.

Someone complained about the Players, a private club for theater patrons at 16 Gramercy Park South, said John Martello, its executive director.

Inspectors visited the club a month ago and announced they had received a tip that people were smoking. They quickly spotted a smoker, ashtrays and the absence of conspicuously posted "No Smoking" signs, three violations.

The club, where Mark Twain once smoked with relish, is now free of cigar or cigarette smoke, a ghostly absence from the worn oak floors and the red leather seats.

"We haven't replenished the humidor," Mr. Martello said. "It's bearable for some of these people now, but when we get to December or January, people are going to be climbing the walls or not coming at all."

Most restaurants, bars and clubs have not yet reported the economic effect of the smoking ban, but some signs of hardship are surfacing.

"I am receiving a lot of anecdotal information from various small bars and restaurants that are indicating that their business has suffered considerably," said E. Charles Hunt, executive vice president of the Greater New York City Chapters of the New York State Restaurant Association. "I've had people tell me that their business is off by as much as 50 percent. I think the ones that are feeling it the most are less the restaurants and more the bars and taverns."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

BlameBloomberg
July 13th, 2003, 04:04 PM
The smoking ban makes sense if you are a commie.
Visit www.blamebloomberg.com to show your support for freedom.

ZippyTheChimp
July 13th, 2003, 04:13 PM
A commie!

Now that's dated.

I hope you are properly reporting sales tax on your sales - or I'll tell Mike.

Kris
July 22nd, 2003, 11:34 PM
July 23, 2003

If Misery Loves Company, City Smokers Should Be Happy

By PAUL von ZIELBAUER

Tina Kurtzhalts had just finished eating in a small bar and restaurant near Ithaca, N.Y., on Monday when she opened her purse, plucked out a cigarette, fingered her lighter and flicked.

Sniffing the air, Alan Saikkonen, a patron at the next table, quickly turned to her. "You can't smoke in here," he said curtly. "There's not a restaurant in New York State you can smoke in anymore."

In fact, Mrs. Kurtzhalts has until 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, when a tough new state antismoking law will begin, after which it will be easier to start a chinchilla farm in downtown Yonkers than to legally light a cigarette inside a bar or restaurant anywhere in New York State.

To smokers in New York City who already feel abused by the smoking ban that began in the five boroughs in March, this may seem like old news. In fact, it is worse news, because the state law is tougher.

For instance, the city law allows smoking in "cigar bars" where tobacco accounts for at least 10 percent of all revenue; in bars or restaurants that build small, separately ventilated smoking rooms; and in bars that have three or fewer owners and no employees. It also allows 25 percent of a bar or restaurant's outdoor seating to be reserved for smokers.

Under the state law, tobacco bars and the 25-percent rule remain legal, but ventilated smoking rooms are illegal and owner-operated bars with no employees are out of luck.

The only type of bar, it seems, where patrons can regularly smoke are "membership associations" — a V.F.W. or American Legion outpost, maybe — where all workers are volunteers and the bartender "doesn't even have a tip jar," said Russell C. Sciandra, director of the Center for a Tobacco Free New York, which fought for the law.

Though the antismoking laws will grow marginally tougher in New York City beginning tomorrow, the moods of thousands of smokers who live north of the Bronx seem destined to grow markedly darker. For the last several weeks, in a statewide replay of the emotion that played out among city residents in March, interviews with upstate residents revealed either outrage or gratitude toward Albany's politicians.

"You know what this country is becoming?" John Lacher, a construction foreman and regular smoker, asked Monday night from his perch in a bar in Nanuet, Rockland County. "A communist state," he said.

Joan Shaw, whose husband, Ron, owns Rascal's, a working-man's bar in Cayuga County, said she was furious about the law and predicted that it would hurt their business, if not kill it. "It's the first time I ever called my assemblyman and my senator," she said.

On the other hand, there was Josh McCormick, 47, an engineer from New City, who eats out about five nights a week. "Secondary smoke is horrible and dangerous," Mr. McCormick said over a plate of spare ribs and a glass of lemonade.

Some upstate business owners are fighting the new smoking law.

In May and June, 300 or so upstate bar and restaurant owners turned off the State Lottery Division's Quick Draw machines in protest. The boycott cost the state $265,993 in lost revenue, said a spokeswoman for the lottery, Carolyn Hapeman.

Yesterday, the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association filed a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of New York to overturn the law. Scott Wexler, the group's executive director, said the suit argues that the state pre-empts existing federal law protecting workers from secondhand smoke. But in an interview yesterday, Mr. Wexler said he did not expect a court to rule on the matter before tomorrow, when the law takes effect.

For most New York City residents who smoke, the new state law may feel more like insult than injury. But to a select few — the owner of a small bar in the East Village, the members of the Iranian-Armenian Society in Queens — it is a curse.

At the Fish Bar on East Fifth Street in the East Village, John Ross, a co-owner who bartends for free, wondered what would come of his dark refuge where perhaps two of three patrons were smoking on Monday night. The city Health Department recently denied the Fish Bar an owner-operator exemption to the city's smoking ban.

"It's just not right," Mr. Ross, from North Wales, said of the city and state laws. "The idea was to save employees from secondhand smoke. Do I have any employees? No."

His is one of 13 city businesses, including the Iranian-Armenian Society, that have applied for exemptions to the city law and been denied. But with the state law looming, even the establishments that received exemptions, like the Polish German Club House in Queens, must either quickly jettison any salaried employees or face a smoke-free future.

James Barrows, a Fish Bar patron who enjoyed chain-smoking over a beer on Monday night, said he had voted for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg but now felt betrayed by him for launching the crusade toward a smokeless New York. But there is still one way for Mr. Barrows, a 30-year-old writer from Brooklyn, to evade the new law, he said.

"Hoboken," he said, gesturing vaguely toward New Jersey. "I'll be visiting Hoboken."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
July 25th, 2003, 08:39 AM
July 25, 2003

What About the Right to Be Stupid?

By CLYDE HABERMAN

VIRTUE triumphed over evil in New York yesterday, a turn of events that would be automatic cause for kicking up one's heels if not for a slight complication: distinguishing the good from the bad was no simple matter in this case.

Virtue came calling in the guise of the new state antismoking law that went into effect yesterday, a ban even sterner than the one that has been the rule in New York City for nearly four months. Lighting up legally in a restaurant or bar is technically still possible under certain circumstances. But happening upon those situations is now only a shade easier than finding a Saddam Hussein poster in an American Legion hall.

The law is virtuous, its supporters say, because public health will greatly improve. Workplaces will be smoke free. Bartenders, waiters and others will breathe clean air, many for the first time. Lives will be saved. Why, bars and restaurants may well enjoy more business than ever.

Those were some of the main points anyway at a vive-le-ban rally held yesterday in front of City Hall — a semblance of normality in a place still reeling from the killings that occurred on Wednesday. Several dozen New Yorkers, many of them healthy-looking young people rounded up for the occasion, turned out to praise the law and its intentions.

"We are changing behavior and saving lives," said David Golub, a regional vice president of the American Cancer Society. This new law, Mr. Golub said, "follows in a series of public health measures to reduce America's addiction to tobacco."

A similar note was struck by Dr. Donna Shelley, chairwoman of a group called the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City. "This is a huge day, a landmark day, in terms of public health in the City of New York," Dr. Shelley said. "We're not saying smokers do not have the right to smoke. Mainly, this is about workers' safety."

But there was — as there will always be — another side to the argument, and its main themes dominated another rally yesterday, held nearby on a stretch of Broadway alongside City Hall Park.

This was the Charge of the Lite Brigade, as in Camel Lite and Winston Lite. At this gathering, the antismoking ban was deemed intolerance masquerading as virtue, an example of a self-satisfied majority's deciding that it knows what is best for the misguided minority who chooses to smoke.

"They are zealots, they are Prohibitionists, and they're after us," said Dennis Gallagher, who manages a restaurant in Port Chester, N.Y.

There were many more people at this rally than the other, several hundred. There were also, it might be noted, many more bodies that were tattooed and pierced — not to mention raspy voices suggesting an intimate acquaintance with the likes of Mr. James Beam and his favorite part of London, Pall Mall.

MANY in the crowd were bar and restaurant owners, who said that the pro-ban forces were dizzy if they believed that business was better now. It has declined under the city law, they said. The only thing that is up, they said, is noise complaints, because of all the smokers taking to the sidewalks. As for arguments about the evil effects of secondhand smoke on bar and restaurant workers, the reaction was, to be polite, Bunk.

"Does anyone know one bartender who died last year from secondhand smoke?" said David Rabin, president of the New York Nightlife Association, a group representing bars, lounges and clubs.

"No!" people in the crowd shouted.

No one defended smoking as smart, let alone virtuous. Rather, the argument typically boiled down to the notion that people had a right to behave as stupidly as they wished in the company of like-minded dopes. This is a city that has thousands and thousands of bars and restaurants catering to all manner of tastes and desires. Is there no way, people asked, to accommodate the minority that wishes to smoke as well as others, including many restaurant employees, who have no problem being around smokers even if they don't smoke themselves?

To Robert Bookman, a lawyer for the Nightlife Association, the issue is how to preserve a measure of choice in a city that prides itself on offering something for everyone.

"There is a sympathy movement that says, `Did we go too far, too fast? Let's take a look at the law again,' at least in relation to bars," Mr. Bookman said. "Maybe there's something that can be done."

Maybe. But not for now. The antiban forces may have had the larger numbers yesterday, but the other side had the power.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
July 25th, 2003, 08:41 AM
July 25, 2003

His Nightmare: A City Forced to Sleep

By ROBIN FINN

AT midafternoon, Lotus, the hyperactive supper club in the schizoid meatpacking district, where the cutting edge lately seems more intent on cloning hipster trends than trimming tenderloin, is sleeping off last night.

The black velvet ropes that flank the club's castle-like entrance after dark are gone. The door is open: how neighborly. No wonder the local community board approved the Lotus contingent's application for a spinoff right across 14th Street. Night life still receives a thumbs-up in this cobblestoned quadrant of a city that, besotted by quality-of-life issues, is in anti-revelry mode.

Except for a couple of huddling promoters, Lotus is deserted. Nobody's stilettos are tattooing the tables to the D.J.'s beat. Silence prevails until management, in the animated form of David Rabin, a small-statured guy with stand-up hair and an upfront manner, materializes from a downstairs office with a glad hand extended and the classic speakeasy greeting: "Hey, want something to drink?" He does not offer an ashtray. Proof of the fallout from the state-and-citywide prohibition against smoking in clubs like his, there's not a spent cigarette butt in sight, nor a whiff of leftover smoke.

This so aggrieves our nonsmoking host, also co-owner of Union Bar, that he has mobilized the city's night-life industry to protest the smoking ban. The kickoff event, this week's "Can the Ban" rally at City Hall Park, is, he guarantees, the start of a concerted siege by a coalition of strange bedfellows: bar owners, restaurant and bar employees, liquor purveyors, union representatives, assorted politicians and, believe it or not, five community boards. "I feel like I'm getting a fast and furious education in politics," he says. So is he tempted to jump in himself? "Oy," he shrugs. As a denial, it lacks oomph.

After a decade spent shaping nightclubs, Mr. Rabin, a lawyer by training, a schmoozer by temperament and not-by-accident president of both the New York Nightlife Association and the Meatpacking District Public Relations Initiative, is determined to reshape a policy that, in his opinion, is detrimental to the public good and the city's image. People are losing jobs. Midtown taverns are losing their happy hour commuter crowd to places like — gasp — Hoboken. Smokers are clogging the sidewalks and creating a noise nuisance in residential areas. What's next, club curfews? The demise of night-life entrepreneurship? He fears so.

"I feel forced to fight this issue, but it's not like we're calling for revocation," he says. "Go back to the 1995 laws: severely restrict smoking in restaurants, allow it in bars and clubs, but only if an air filtration system is installed. This is not about being pro-smoke." Ah, the esoteric principles of an after-dark magnate whose club grossed more than $8 million in 2002, a luminary in an industry that claims to pump $3 billion per year into the city's ailing economy despite getting the cold shoulder from its officials. "They promote the city as if the city stops at 11 p.m. Really, the most exciting stuff happens after 11 p.m."

And that argument about the health hazard to bar employees? Bogus, yawns Mr. Rabin. "Sadly, 60 percent of my staff smokes, but do you think the other 40 percent demands they quit? They care more about their tips. The real quality-of-life impact, and potentially the downfall of our business, is the disruption of residents' lives," he rants. "Right now we're the city that never sleeps because smokers forced outside at three or four in the morning are waking people up. I can see this leading to earlier closing hours, which would be the end of the city that never sleeps."

Mr. Rabin, a "frustrated Jewish jock" who settled for varsity lacrosse at Tufts while longing to be Joe Namath, never smoked and even led a successful campaign for a nonsmoking section at his college dining hall in 1983. "Kind of ironic, huh?" he says, leading the way to a corner banquette where, he proudly points out, the puncture wounds in the cushions "are from customers dancing in their Manolos."
He admits to a fascination for marketing. A favorite slogan was concocted by the city of Las Vegas, where he and his business partner, Will Regan, operate the Manhattan-flavored VBar at the Venetian Hotel, and goes like this: What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas. "Now that's genius!" he gushes. "It's a bit of a sin business we're in, but to me a club is a place where you can drink, dance and maybe meet somebody special from the same or opposite sex: God bless it!" says Mr. Rabin, a gym-friendly 42, who lives on the Upper West Side with his wife, Nicki Lorenzo, a former model, and their son, Tyler.


MR. RABIN says he and Mr. Regan's era of wild clubbing is done: both are more interested in owning and frequenting haute supper clubs than danceterias. "He hates for me to say this, but when we were starting out, his girlfriend was the supermodel, Iman." Hence the gorgeous clientele at Rex, their first club, and the invite to develop Moscow's first model-magnet club, Manhattan Express, a venture interrupted by a coup. "We were given wine, pasta and a gun and told to shut ourselves in our hotel room until it was safe to come out."

His most egregious addiction is Diet Coke — he blames it for the caps on his teeth. Except for bemoaning the impact a chipped cap may have on this photo op, Mr. Rabin, who grew up in Syosset and received his law degree from Columbia, is all smiles. He is exploring new venues in Miami, Los Angeles and Washington. He thinks "Can the Ban" will catch on, that the meatpacking district can repackage itself without turning into SoHo. "SoHo," he intones, "is dead in the water."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Schadenfrau
July 25th, 2003, 12:37 PM
I find it so incredibly irksome that the anti-smokers use language like "virtue" and "enlightened" to describe their crusade. The only thing worse than a meddler is a pious meddler, and these people have the latter down pat.

Between criticizing Jayson Blair for eating Cheez Doodles and protesters for having tattoos, the Times is really outdoing themselves.

Kris
July 26th, 2003, 12:13 AM
July 26, 2003

Report Says Restaurant Jobs Unaffected by Smoking Ban

By PAUL von ZIELBAUER

Employment in New York City restaurants and bars has increased slightly since the law restricting smoking went into effect on March 30, according to city health officials, defying predictions from critics that the industry would be harmed.

City employment figures for that industry show that jobs increased to 164,900 from 155,200 between March 11 and June 11, the Health Department said. That 9,700-job increase, part of a national trend, also represents an acceleration over the same period last year in the rate of jobs created by New York City restaurants and bars, the department added.

The department issued the report this week in response to the New York Nightlife Association and other critics of the new law, who said that the near-ban on smoking would cause restaurants and bars to lose business and, in turn, jettison employees.

"There's no evidence of a negative impact, and if there were a negative impact, we would have seen it," said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the health commissioner. "A lot of the rhetoric in the industry is off the wall."

But Robert Bookman, the lawyer for the New York Nightlife Association, said the city Health Department's report was wrong.

"It's not the facts," he said, adding that he had researched bar and restaurant employment figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. "If you compare June 2003 compared to June 2002, employment is down," a trend that dates back to at least 2001, he said.

The Health Department's figures are "politically motivated," Mr. Bookman said. "We're not surprised that unemployment is up, and yes, we do think it's because of the smoking law."

But the majority of research seems to support the city. Studies in New York, California and elsewhere have shown that new restrictions on smoking in restaurants and bars do not result in a drop in business.

"What New York City is experiencing is entirely consistent with what we've seen all across the country, which is that the predictions of people going out of business are baseless," said Russell Sciandra, director of the Center for a Tobacco Free New York, who has lobbied for smoking restrictions.

Dr. Frieden, and the Bloomberg administration, anticipated charges that the ban would harm restaurants. At a news conference the day the city law went into effect, the commissioner noted that on average, three bars and restaurants fail each day in New York City.

"I'm sure that as of today," he said, "they're all going to be our fault."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

JACKinNYC
July 26th, 2003, 09:53 PM
I don't smoke. I've spent a lot of time in bars in New York. I think I've breathed enough smoke and came home with enough smelly clothes to have the right to be happy that I don't have to do either of those anymore. And I don't see any fewer people at bars since the law was enacted.

I have just as much right to be in a bar as a smoker, but the smoker doesn't have the right to make me breathe his or her mass marketed product which has a clearly marked surgeon general's warning informing all who can read at a fourth grade level of the dangers of smoking.

I've been for the ban for as long as I can remember and I'm happy New York City has been added to the growing list of cities where I can go to a bar and have a drink (which, by the way, is the definition of a bar... a place where you can drink) and breathe the air and only the air.

Here's an idea: I'll allow you to blow your smoke in my face if you allow me to throw my drink on yours.

Thank you.








(Edited by JACKinNYC at 9:59 pm on July 26, 2003)

CountryBoy
July 27th, 2003, 01:11 PM
My feelings,if an individual privately owns an establishment it should be up to the individual to decide if smoking is allowed or not.Suppose I own a restaurant and I want to allow smoking,I should be able to post a sign at the entrance advising people that is a smoker friendly establishment ,then the individual that dissapproves of smoking can go do business somewhere else.

ChicagoRob
July 28th, 2003, 03:00 AM
I visited NY last week and stayed with a friend in Queens. *I cannot tell you how pleasant it was not to have to sit in cramped non-smoking areas of resturants like back in Chicago. *For all the hype and negativity spewed from the restaurant associations everywhere bemoaning the smoking bans in NYC and Orlando, Florida, I saw restaurants filled to capacity in Little Italy, greasy spoons in Astoria full of customers, and far fewer people smoking out on the street.

20 years from now people will laugh about the complainers of the smoking ban the way people complained about car seatbelt laws of the 1960s.

Agglomeration
July 28th, 2003, 11:02 AM
It really all depends on the place and the type of customers who go to the establishments. In the area where I live (eastern Queens), there are bars and lounges with no-smoking signs, yet I see people smoking in rear patios without a peep from employees, and in some places people are brazenly lighing up at the bar areas, and the bouncer's don't give a s***. For security reasons I'm not naming these places or their locations, but there are places like that all over the city. :cool: There are many New Yorkers, including many non-smokers, who're resentful of the new law, and I don't expect this feeling to go away for a long time.

As for seat belts, I have friends who never put on seat belts when they drive. I do, but that's my choice.

Regardless, welcome to Wired New York Forum Rob. This is where one can freely discuss the Land of Skyscrapers (Chicago also fits the bill) with his peers and discuss the buildings here, from decorative early-century styles to sleek international-style buildings. By the way, I'm a non-smoker. :wink:

billyblancoNYC
July 28th, 2003, 02:19 PM
Eastern Queens?

JACKinNYC
July 28th, 2003, 05:03 PM
If you don't wear a seatbelt you're not hurting me. Smokers (to generalize) tend to think the world should revolve around them a little more than non-smokers seem to. Such is the nature of the personality of a smoker. It's a "rebellious" thing to start doing in the first place. So if that's a person's attitude going in, it's probably not going to change. In fact, smokers will probably rebel against non-smoking laws partly because it's a rebellious thing to do. So you have to keep that in mind when you hear a smoker complain about not being allowed to smoke in the presence of other human beings while in indoor spaces shared by the public.

We all came into this world as non-smokers. We should all be entitled to not have to breathe smoke. Feel free to smoke in proper places, just as I'll feel free to not breathe your smoke in proper places.



(Edited by JACKinNYC at 5:05 pm on July 28, 2003)

Schadenfrau
July 28th, 2003, 06:15 PM
What do you consider the "proper places"? Would a clearly marked smoking bar be proper?

Agglomeration
July 28th, 2003, 07:05 PM
This is such a divisive issue. I'll only point out that noise complaints have increased in areas with many bars and clubs since the smoking ban took effect, and I fear that some NIMBY's will use this as an excuse to press for tougher noise restrictions, patron capacity limits and even 1 AM curfews. I know this sounds farfetched, but you know how over-sensitive some people are.

Frankly I oppose this smoking ban because of the detrimental effect it's already having on night establishments in many parts of the city. We don't need new restrictions that will ultimately castrate the city's famous nightlife and hurt its economy. Of course the smoking ban isn't the only reason why I hate Mike Bloomberg. He has little regard for how the city operates, and to some extent he wants the NYC to emulate the boring 9-to-5 personality of his native Massachusetts.

Just for the record, I live in Queens, northeast of Flushing Meadow Park. I come to the city often.

Jasonik
July 28th, 2003, 07:22 PM
Good point about the sidewalk noise.
The onus is on the smokers. *

I smoked for years, and quit more times than I can remember, its a bitch. *I have quit now for good and encourage all to use my method which consists of:
1. making a clenched fist
2. looking at the fist
3. saying out loud, "You bastards won't make me start again, you are not going to get my money and kill me too!"
4. aquire and drink a glass of water
5. feel healthy and well hydrated, feel strong and proud
6. repeat as. . . *you know

Agglomeration
July 28th, 2003, 07:28 PM
I have nothing against people who choose to quit smoking. I also repeat Instructions 4 and 5 regularly...LOL

Goth
August 3rd, 2003, 01:48 PM
The ban may not of effected business in NYC, but from what i see Upstate it's not going as well. I have seen a real drop in people going out to restaurants to eat. I find it funny in the only State sponcered study they compare groth in restaurants to last years groth in restaurants. Last year hardly anything grew. Why not compare the groth in restaurants to over all business groth for the same time frame. I have a fealing it would not tell the same 'has no effect' story. I would allso like to see a study on the effects on bars only. When it comes to patrons habbits bars and restaurants are like night and day. *I feel if a business wants to go nonsmoking good for them they live or die with their choices. To force businesses to go nonsmoking is at the very least an attack on the business owners rights to run the business as he/she sees fit. No one forces people to go out to eat and if you don't want to work around smoke then find a new job. We will see how strongly New York feels about this unfair attack on business owners rights. Come election time. Unless smokers start voting more get used to it. I am sure there is more to come.

(Edited by Goth at 1:51 pm on Aug. 3, 2003)

Kris
September 22nd, 2003, 12:55 AM
September 22, 2003

Groups to Publicize Poll That Supports Smoking Ban

By MICHAEL COOPER

Antismoking groups say they are concerned that the city's new law banning smoking in bars and restaurants is getting a bum rap, so they are planning a campaign to publicize a poll, which they commissioned, showing that the ban enjoys wide support.

The poll, which was taken for a consortium of antismoking groups including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Cancer Society, found that 70 percent of city voters surveyed said they supported the ban, while 27 percent oppose it.

The antismoking groups hope to use the findings to dispel media reports suggesting that the ban is unpopular and could hurt the elected officials who supported it. They are planning a million-dollar advertising campaign to boost the ban, along with an Internet campaign and a lobbying effort to show local officials that the law is popular.

"Most politicians would kind of climb over each other searching for an issue that has a 70-30 advantage to it," said Jeffrey B. Plaut, a partner at the Global Strategy Group, a political consulting firm, who oversaw the poll. "It has broad support across party lines, race and ethnicity — the notable exception are smokers. This is an issue like kissing babies — it is that kind of a broad-appeal issue."

The poll, of 800 registered New York City voters, was conducted Aug. 24 to 29. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Ever since the city enacted the smoking ban last spring and the state followed suit over the summer, there has been a question of whether the measure would prove to be a political plus or minus for the elected officials who passed it.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the prime force behind the city's ban, has said all along that he expected it to be popular with the roughly 80 percent of New Yorkers who do not smoke. But the quiet approval of nonsmokers has often been drowned out by the complaints of aggrieved smokers who are now forced out onto city sidewalks to light up, and of bar and nightclub owners who say that it is hurting business.

Those complaints are expected to get louder as the cold weather sets in.

The poll commissioned by groups that support the ban reached a different conclusion than a poll that was commissioned last month by a group that opposes the restriction.

Last month's poll — commissioned by the state Conservative Party, which opposes the smoking ban — found that nearly 68 percent of state voters and 63 percent of city voters agreed with the statement, "The politicians went too far when they enacted a total ban on smoking in restaurants and bars."

(The poll by the antismoking groups posed the question: "Earlier this year a law went into effect prohibiting smoking in all workplaces in New York City, including offices, restaurants and bars. Would you say that you support or oppose the law?")

A poll by Quinnipiac University that was taken before the ban was enacted found that a majority of New York City voters supported a total ban in restaurants and bars. Conducted last November, the Quinnipiac poll asked, "Do you favor or oppose a total ban on smoking in restaurants and bars in New York City?" Fifty-four percent said they favored such a ban, and 41 percent said they opposed it.

The campaign commissioned by the antismoking groups will feature print advertisements, television commercials and subway posters, and will be sponsored by the American Legacy Foundation, the public charity that was created with funds from the lawsuit brought by states against the tobacco industry.

The foundation's president, Dr. Cheryl Healton, said that if the ban succeeded in New York City, other areas would follow suit. "To the extent that it works in New York, and that everybody gets behind it," she said, "its potential to accelerate to other places in the nation and the world grows."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Schadenfrau
September 22nd, 2003, 11:50 AM
Why don't they actually poll people who go to bars about the smoking ban? Something tells me that the folks at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids aren't exactly party animals.

Kris
December 13th, 2003, 02:02 AM
December 13, 2003

New Rule Allows Bars to Seek Waivers From Smoking Ban

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALBANY, Dec. 12 (AP) — Bars and other businesses that can prove they lost at least 15 percent of their profits to the state's new smoking ban will be able to apply for waivers in some parts of the state, according to rules released by the Pataki administration on Friday.

The waivers would not apply to bars in New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties or other counties that have passed their own smoking bans unless these local governments decide to adopt them.

The new rules allowing waivers were issued by the State Health Department and affect 21 counties. Boroughs and the other 41 counties could adopt the waiver rules as well or establish their own rules, potentially creating different smoking rules in neighboring counties.

Hundreds of business owners have inquired about waivers since the indoor smoking ban went into effect on July 24. Scott Wexler of the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association estimated, based on applicants in one county, that perhaps 10 percent of the state's thousands of bars and restaurants could allow smoking if most localities adopt the state's rules.

The rules would allow businesses to apply for waivers to the smoking ban if they:

¶Can show they lost 15 percent of their business since the ban was established compared with similar periods.

¶Are clubs and other membership organizations that use only volunteer workers.

¶Are cigar bars in which at least 10 percent of annual gross income is from the sale of tobacco products and the rental of humidors, excluding vending machines.

The waivers will cover two years and the businesses will be subject to inspection and investigation of complaints. The waivers cannot be transferred with the sale of the establishment, according to the rules. The law contains a provision to create waivers based on financial hardship.

A Health Department spokesman, William Van Slyke, said that the department "worked with local governments, advocates and the business community to develop a reasonable approach and this criteria reflects that effort."

Last week, the State Senate's majority leader, Joseph Bruno, an increasingly vocal foe of smoking, said the Senate would monitor the granting of waivers and whether they are hurting the smoking ban.

Russell Sciandra of the Center for a Tobacco Free New York has said that the 15-percent threshold for lost income is arbitrary. He said the waivers should rarely be issued so that the smoking ban is not undermined.

Todd Alhart, a spokesman for Mr. Pataki, said that the law "requires the Department of Health to develop waiver guidelines, and the department is fulfilling that legal requirement."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Agglomeration
December 13th, 2003, 06:23 PM
Sometimes families can be seen in large restaurants, but otherwise you almost never see moms with children in those night establishments. When was the last time anyone saw a mom with 6-year-old kids in a dark bar, club, or lounge? So what gives? As for that poll, I'm one of the 41% who oppose it.

Ninjahedge
December 18th, 2003, 09:45 AM
They have to keep the ban up, in full, for a full year before people will get off their high asthmatic horses and come back to the bars.

I really don't CARE if it was said to be for the kids, I HATED the smoke in the bars and I am glad they got rid of it.

Thing is, most of the complainers are the smoker/drinker crowd themselves that stated that "the smoke smell" was not enough of a reason to impose a ban (while, ironically, most of them don't smoke at home for the same reason).

It is a health risk, it does stink, stain and litter. Of all the intrusive behavior (Loud music like a boom box, farting, swearing, etc) smoking is the ONLY one where one person could still impose his preference on everyone else. I am not going to go into a bar and spit back out 10% of the beer I drink all over everyone, smokers should not think they are entitled to do the same with their smoke.

If they just found a way to limit or get rid of the smoke itself things would be much better. But from what I have heard, the smokeless sticks are not only poor imitations, but they also look extremely dorkey. (And we all know most people started smoking for the image, not for the smooth rich flavor... :p)

Sorry, my rant.

I have also heard NYC is thinking of passing PAID wavers or licences to the ban soon. Any validity to that rumor?

Kris
December 27th, 2003, 04:52 PM
December 28, 2003

The Smoking Ban: Clear Air, Murky Economics

By WINNIE HU

When New York City banned smoking in its bars and restaurants last March, opponents warned that the tough new law would drive away customers and devastate businesses. Supporters insisted that New Yorkers would quickly adjust.

Nine months later, the impact is hardly so clear cut. An examination of government data, public polls, private surveys and interviews with customers, employees and owners of more than three dozen bars and restaurants around the city shows the law having an impact on some businesses, but certainly not on all.

Many bar owners and managers say the smoking ban has hurt business, eroding profits and, in some cases, forcing them to cut back hours or lay off workers. Others say they have seen virtually no effect.

Some restaurants and bars say that business is fine — even thriving, as the economy improves — particularly in places where food is a main draw. Further, a vast majority of New Yorkers have said in recent polls that they are happy with the new law. One survey shows that many regular restaurantgoers see a smoke-free environment as an attraction.

That does not mean, though, that some city night spots are not hurt by the ban. Happy-hour sales on Friday nights at the Whiskey Ward on the Lower East Side have dropped to barely $100, from $600, a co-owner says, and regulars have disappeared along with the ashtrays.

A co-owner of Patroon, a steakhouse in Midtown, says he no longer sees much of a cigar-puffing, after-dinner crowd. And in the meatpacking district, the owner of Hogs & Heifers, where Julia Roberts was once enticed to dance on the bar, says she is considering laying off four employees.

Then there are the many nuisances wrought by the smoking ban, which bar owners and bartenders say just makes it harder to scrape out a living in an already tough business.

"It's harder to keep track of everybody going in and out," said Chuck Zeilfelder, a bartender at Bourbon Street in Bayside, Queens, who opposes the ban. "It's common for people to leave money on the bar, and that becomes an issue — how much they left. Also, people leave their drinks on the bar and go out. The drinks get thrown out, and then you have to buy them another round on the house."

It is unclear whether the complaints about the smoking ban are anything more than growing pains, as a city that prides itself on its night life adjusts to the far-reaching new law. Certainly, where the city goes from here is of great interest to other places around the world, like Ireland, Norway and Lexington, Ky., which are debating their own versions of the law.

The early evidence, however, is that many businesses are unharmed. In fact, though rumors swirl in an environment where every bit of news is trumpeted by the side it favors, a reporter could not verify that one bar, restaurant or club, of the more than 20,000 in the city, had closed solely because of the smoking ban.

In contrast, the owner-chef at Gotham Bar and Grill, Alfred Portale, says more people are dining at the pink granite bar, where the food is served on black lacquer trays. The bar at the Jazz Standard on East 27th Street remains packed every night, its owner says. And the line only grows longer outside McSorley's Old Ale House on East Seventh Street, the "wonderful saloon" chronicled by the writer Joseph Mitchell, though some patrons have grumbled that they miss having a Marlboro with their house ale.

"Believe it or not, it may be helping us because it's driving people to drink," said McSorley's owner, Matthew Maher.

The city's antismoking law was championed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who saw it as a health initiative to protect restaurant and bar workers from being exposed to secondhand smoke. In July, the state followed with an even tougher smoking ban.

Even if the city were to repeal its ban, the state's would remain in effect — something that has not seemed to make much difference to the smokers and businesses who continue to blame the mayor for their woes and lobby to have the city's law amended.

The ban does not appear to have deterred businesses from opening in New York City. The New York State Liquor Authority, which issues licenses to establishments that serve alcohol, received 127 applications from city businesses last month, compared to 126 in November 2002. The number of licenses granted by the authority in that same period rose to 106 last month, from 75 the year before.

The city's Health Department, which enforces the smoking ban, has also analyzed monthly employment numbers and found no overall job loss in the food service and drinking industry. Critics have countered that such findings are politically motivated, and cannot show when establishments cut back shifts and absorb revenue losses. But many restaurants and bars refuse to divulge their finances, making it difficult to gauge the validity of their complaints.

Polls back the city's contention that New Yorkers have welcomed the ban. A New York Times poll in June showed that 56 percent of the 962 respondents said they approved of the smoking ban. A Quinnipiac University poll in October found that 62 percent supported the ban.

Tim Zagat, the publisher of restaurant guides, surveyed more than 29,000 of his volunteer reviewers this year and found that 96 percent said they would eat out as much, if not more, with the smoking ban. Only 4 percent said they would eat out less. "I don't care how you cut it," Mr. Zagat said. "I think it's long-term good for business."

The industry counters with its own surveys, some of which depend on voluntary responses. Pollsters say such surveys are deceptive because those most prone to complain are also most prone to respond.

The city chapters of the New York State Restaurant Association mailed out a survey to more than 900 members and found that 88 of the 115 city businesses that responded said they had a decline in bar sales since the smoking ban, and 58 said they had a decline in food sales. In addition, 76 reported that their employees had an unfavorable reaction to the ban, while 18 reported a favorable reaction.

Similarly, an October study commissioned by the Vintners Federation of Ireland interviewed 300 bars and nightclubs in the New York region and found that 66 percent reported fewer customers since the smoking ban, while 15 percent reported more. In all, 78 percent said the impact of the ban on their businesses had been negative.

"The nightclub and bar industry are the collateral damage in the admittedly noble fight to get people to stop smoking," said David Rabin, co-owner of Union Bar and Lotus in Manhattan and president of the New York Nightlife Association.

Sales representatives for wine and liquor companies say the impact has trickled down to them.

They say business has dropped between 20 percent and 40 percent since the smoking ban. Similarly, an association for operators of jukeboxes, pinball machines and other games says that revenues have fallen between 10 and 25 percent at bars and nightclubs in New York City.

"If the people are outside smoking, they're not inside drinking, and they're not inside playing my machines," said Kenneth Goldberg, vice president of the Amusement Music Operators Association.

Indeed, a check by a reporter on two blocks of Bell Boulevard in Bayside and three blocks of Northern Boulevard in Little Neck, both thriving night life strips in Queens, showed some impact from the ban, but more in terms of subtle economic and social changes than closings and layoffs.

Owners and employees reported selling fewer drinks and losing customers before dessert. They complained of the need to watch over drinks and money left on the bar and seats left unoccupied by patrons heading out for a smoke. And bartenders said that tips were down, as were overall tabs, and that longtime customers were resorting to alternatives — hotel rooms, private homes and parks — to indulge their smoking and drinking.

But Danny Meyer, who owns a half-dozen restaurants and night spots in Manhattan, including Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern, said his businesses had seen no impact. He banned smoking in some of his restaurants in 1990, and they have grown more popular, he said.

Mr. Meyer said that he no longer had to worry about his waiters and customers coughing from the smoke or the nightly squabbles between smoking and nonsmoking tables. One of his best customers, Roger W. Straus, a publisher with Farrar Straus & Giroux, had complained when Mr. Meyer started his ban about being separated from his cigarettes, but later credited the restaurant with helping him to give up smoking, Mr. Meyer said.

"New Yorkers will adapt to almost anything," Mr. Meyer said. "They're not going to quit going to great restaurants just because they can't smoke."

Many bars and nightclubs have adopted coping strategies, with varying degrees of success. At the popular China Club near Times Square, smokers are now directed to a 2,000-square-foot terrace.

"It hasn't impacted us that much," said the owner, Danny Fried, of the ban.

O'Neill's Bar and Restaurant in Midtown laid off three people in April and resorted to novelty events like trivia contests and election-night vigils for races in Ireland. Ciaran Staunton, the owner, says he sees his regulars pass by on the street, toting six-packs of beer to drink at home.

Other bars and taverns, like Broadway Dive on the Upper West Side, are placing new emphasis on their food now that they are selling fewer drinks. Since the ban began, alcoholic beverage sales at the Broadway Dive have fallen about one-third, or between $1,500 and $2,000 a week, its owner said.

Amy Sacco, owner of Lot 61 and Bungalow 8 in West Chelsea, said she had to hire an extra security guard just to make sure the smoking crowd outside does not become unruly.

"It makes the job very unhappy," Ms. Sacco said. "Next thing you know, it's prohibition for cocktails. We're all responsible for policing it. It's such a drag."

"It's just a big headache in a job that had enough headaches to start with," she said.

Ann Farmer contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
January 3rd, 2004, 08:48 PM
January 4, 2004

Waiting to Inhale

By MICHAEL BRICK

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/01/04/nyregion/smoke.xlarge.jpg
Dylan Keeler enjoyed an illicit pleasure after midnight last week in a Brooklyn bar. It is clear when the time to light up arrives: it is preceded by a sensation of being unmasked.

Quietly, and without the contraptions or planning of Prohibition, the cigarette smokers of New York have created their own modern rendition of the speakeasy, where their outlawed pleasure can be enjoyed once more. There are no passwords. You just have to wait.

The proper hour can be 11 p.m., or midnight or later still in places where the patrons do not like to go home. There is no schedule, no phone call, no listing in The Village Voice. The moment comes by common assent, by a shared appraising of all the people remaining in the bar and all the forces around them — the darkness of the windows, the breath of the staff.

"I hear from lots of people, especially in the four outer boroughs," said Audrey Silk, a leader of a group that seeks to repeal the city's smoking ban. "They're letting you smoke."

When the ban took effect nine months ago, disagreements over the public health and economic implications prevailed. Some establishments searched for loopholes in the law, like the Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel, which sought to present itself as a cigar bar exempted from enforcement. In large measure, these efforts failed, and smokers moved to the streets, the warm weather making the ban's first months somewhat easier on them.

Open resistance to the ban has been muted, coming mostly in the form of lawsuits, including one filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan just before Christmas by the Players Club, seeking to overturn the city and state antismoking laws. As the weather has turned, though, smokers have taken up secretive civil disobedience.

In the past few weeks, it has happened in about half a dozen bars that were visited over five or so nights. Smokers themselves discussed the phenomenon freely; bartenders were interviewed with the assurance that they would not be named and that identifying details of their establishments would not be revealed.

In each place, it was clear when the moment to light up had arrived. It was preceded by a sensation of being unmasked — a relief, of sorts — the kind that comes of knowing one is among friends.

It is a phenomenon not unlike what happened to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's crackdown on jaywalking, when police officers working the streets seemed to decide that, you know what, some New Yorkers were just going to jaywalk at some intersections.

With smoking, too, the setting can be almost as important as the hour of the night. The occasional sudden transformation into a smoking club does not happen in every place. Stay late on a temperate night at Union Pool, a shiny pickup joint in Williamsburg that offers pictures of naked women on the walls and the rattle of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway overhead, and it is likely the moment will never come. There are too many people, and too many windows, and besides, outdoor space is ample.

The opposite also holds. Setting can trump the hour of the night, and smoking can start before 9 p.m., but usually only when the nature of the place is so entwined with notions of decadence and indulgence that few behaviors are questioned. At the Buzzcocks show at Irving Plaza last month, for instance, even the uptight young woman who turned her head to shush other patrons (apparently she was having trouble hearing the punk rock music) held a lighted cigarette.

Ordinarily, though, even in the bars most amenable to smoking, time is the common controlling factor.

There is, for instance, a bright and festively ornamented bar in Brooklyn where a tight group of regulars gathers nightly to drink away the day's frustrations, to work crossword puzzles and argue word derivations. Among other attributes, the place is perhaps the only etymology bar in the city, and its character changes depending on the hour of the day. After a certain point, when only those well-known customers remain, the bartender, who has long since forsworn smoking and drinking, will sometimes lock the door.

And all who remain know the significance of the turning of the bolt.

What happens after the silent declaration that the rules have been lifted is the same wherever you go.

In the far East Village on Christmas night, a silvery Zippo lighter rested on a pack of Marlboro Lights, right there on the bar just a short walk from the Ms. Pac Man machine. The sight was jarring in its familiarity. What bar did those same items not decorate just a year ago?

The smoke that filled the air announced itself, if only because it had been gone long enough to let eyes and noses forget its taste. The smoke-filled bar, it said, was back.

"It never really left," the bartender said, "depending on the time of night or what the clientele is."

Over in a corner, Michael Reiss, of Brooklyn, sat talking with friends. They arranged themselves loosely around a table by a window.

"Smokers in New York City are going to find what they need to do, what they want to do," Mr. Reiss said. "Here, even if you have an outdoor patio, you're going to freeze. You have bars that are going to let it go."

So, knowing that the moment will come, the smokers sit inside these days, and they hold off their cravings as long as they are able. They may even bundle up and go outside once or twice for a light, putting napkins over their drinks like Southern Californians.

In between trips, they wait.

And then the moment comes, and it is like dancing — it is shared and exuberant and wild. It came after midnight one night last week to a dark and narrow room the shape of a railroad apartment in south Brooklyn, where Christmas lights and candles flickered. A sign on the wall announced that smoking was disallowed. Bodies were sloped lazily on couches. A man on a bar stool had his hand inside the low-slung waistline of his date's jeans.

Boots and Converse All-Stars slapped the floor as the revelers negotiated one another, moving and talking and yelling and smoking. They were in for the night. Long after 3 a.m., a bartender out from his post flicked lighted matches at his customer's feet, laughing and watching the matches expire on the wet floor.

"Dance," the bartender cried.

Up and down the bar from the door to the back wall, the air grew thick and tight and noxious and hazy.

"O.K.," said Matt Taylor, 23, a tourist visiting from Texas. "Everyone's smoking cigarettes. I'm just making sure. . . . "

He let the thought trail off, and was quickly reassured that despite what he had read about New York, smoking was permitted in this bar, on this night, at this hour.

His verbal reaction was overwhelmed by the magic of jukebox speakers, through which Joe Strummer announced from somewhere beyond the great divide that he was still, in fact, the all-night drug-prowling wolf who looks so sick in the sun, and furthermore that he was only looking for fun. His voice faded out and Paul Westerberg's replaced it, reminding a flight attendant who once told him not to smoke that she ain't nothing but a waitress in the sky.

"Who's got an extra cigarette?" called the bartender, and it turned out that just about everybody did.


Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
January 5th, 2004, 11:02 AM
Oh scr3w them.

"Wah, I can't sate my addiction"

"Wah, sales are down 5%"

"Wah, all my patrons are drinking in Jersey".

BS.

I am really glad we have the ban, and they should still be strict in enforcing it.

If it lasts a year or two, the numbers will start to balance out again after people get tired of trucking over to Hoboken to puff and drink.

Either that, or NJ will come up with the same law. THAT would be nice!

I think they should just get this whole thing over with and make bars that cater to smokers only. IOW, NO BEER/ALCOHOL!!!! Yeah, you can smoke, have a cigar, whatever. Hell, I would even allow things like Cannabis (sp?) so long as it was kept INSIDE that "speakeasy". But I would like it if they just kept the two seperate.

As a beer drinking blues lover, it is SO much better to go into a place where I don't smell like a wet ashtray when I leave.

Scr3w the "atmosphere".... ;)

ZippyTheChimp
January 5th, 2004, 12:48 PM
You're allowed to say screw here. :wink:

Schadenfrau
January 9th, 2004, 12:21 PM
The freezing cold this week should reveal the true impact of the ban. All the bars I've walked past are nearly empty.

Ninjahedge
January 9th, 2004, 01:58 PM
In all fairness, so are the ones in NJ.

It's COLD! Noone wants to go OUT!!! ;)

NYatKNIGHT
January 9th, 2004, 04:10 PM
The ones I was at last night on First Ave./2nd St. were packed. I also stumbled (literally) to a place on Orchard St. that is a smoking bar - it has some hookahs on a couple tables, and ashtrays everywhere. I went back to watch the hookah smokers to see if it was really tobacco, and to my surprise and minor disappointment, it was. Cool turkish bar called Kush, except for all the smoke.

Kris
January 17th, 2004, 11:15 PM
January 18, 2004

Mayor and Editor, Fussing Over Fuming

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/01/17/nyregion/vani.xlarge.jpg
The editor's letter in Vanity Fair magazine, with Graydon Carter shown next to an ashtray at the offices of Vanity Fair.

It would seem that Vanity Fair, the breathless chronicle of all things glamorous and shiny about New York and Hollywood, would be in love with the 108th mayor of New York City.

For years, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg seemed to embody the same qualities found in many of the magazine's subjects — a love of fancy restaurants, deep pockets for the charity circuit and real estate of considerable size in requisite tropical, European and urban locations.

Further, the editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter, runs in similar social and professional circles as Mr. Bloomberg did in his pre-mayoral, media mogul days, before he began choosing meatloaf on Staten Island over cheese courses at expensive Midtown restaurants. The two share a certain number of accouterments: Manhattan town houses, finely tailored suits and fat Rolodexes. Each has been known to be long on lady friends.

They were, in Mr. Carter's estimation, friends. But that was before Mr. Bloomberg imposed an almost total ban on indoor smoking in public places in New York City, infuriating Mr. Carter, who enjoyed lighting up in restaurants, bars and, according to three summonses he has received from city inspectors, his office at the sleek West 42nd Street headquarters of Condé Nast. Mr. Carter has called the enforcement of the new law harassment, among other things.

"It is an important issue," said Mr. Carter. "It is about freedom and your own civil liberties, and it is about the city. This is not Denver, it is not Seattle, it is a big rough turbine that is fueled by cigarette smoke and food and liquor. People want to go out at night. If your best friend smokes, it makes it very awkward."

Over the last six months, Vanity Fair has been ripping into Mr. Bloomberg on almost a monthly basis, vexing the mayor's staff and angering Mr. Bloomberg at times, too. In September, the magazine ran a lengthy profile of Mr. Bloomberg that was far from flattering, referring to him as "waiflike."

Mr. Carter has also devoted no fewer than three editor's letters to criticizing the mayor. In the latest, in the February issue of the magazine, Mr. Carter says the mayor is "like a husband who returns home after the honeymoon and announces to his new bride that he has decided that henceforth they will be vegans."

For that same issue now on newsstands, Mr. Carter commissioned an article by Christopher Hitchens in which Mr. Hitchens chronicled his minor crime spree throughout the city — feeding pigeons, smoking in a luxury car — painting Mr. Bloomberg's New York as something just short of a police state.

"I did it because I thought it would be fun journalism," Mr. Carter said. "It was to explain something."

He said, "I see some 86-year-old man getting a ticket for feeding birds in the park and I don't get it."

But Bloomberg administration officials say Mr. Carter has crossed a line. "It certainly raises the question of whether it is ethical journalism for an editor to use his magazine to push his agenda," said Edward Skyler, the mayor's press secretary, who last week accused Mr. Carter of ordering up a series of hatchet jobs on his boss.

Buzz Bissinger, who wrote the lengthy profile of Mr. Bloomberg, believes the administration protests too much.

"The piece was generally positive," Mr. Bissinger said. "I concluded that in his own idiosyncratic way, he's been an effective mayor." If the mayor's staff believes otherwise, he said, "It's pathetic."

A seminal song from the 1970's performed by the band War comes to mind: "Why Can't We Be Friends?" A sample verse: "I seen ya around for a long long time. I really remember you when you drank my wine."

Indeed Mr. Carter has drunk Mr. Bloomberg's wine, and snacked on his potpies as well. The two met several years ago when Mr. Bloomberg invited Mr. Carter to lunch near Mr. Bloomberg's corporate headquarters. Mr. Carter was later invited to dinner at Mr. Bloomberg's London and New York homes.

The two shared an affinity for social cachet, with Mr. Bloomberg at points embracing Mr. Carter's endeavors.

When Mr. Carter, 54, stopped playing host for dinner for the Serpentine Gallery in London, Mr. Bloomberg, 61, moved to quickly take it over. When word got out that Vanity Fair would no longer be holding the annual party after the White House Correspondents' dinner, Kevin Sheekey, an aide to Mr. Bloomberg at his company and in the administration, hopped in a cab and rushed to the Russian Federation Trade Ministry with a check to secure that party for Bloomberg L.P.

They have had their little jokes. Just last year, Mr. Bloomberg sent Mr. Carter a mock proclamation for a local law affecting "middle-aged men with long hair," stating that they ought to "cut their locks immediately." (Mr. Carter's coif is Baldwinesque: pick a brother.) "Regular inspections will be led by the Office of Emergency Management to begin at Da Silvano restaurant," the proclamation read.

And then the smoking ban came last spring.

Mr. Carter's resistance to the mayor's mandate has become so well known around Condé Nast that when the sprinkler system went off last year, the rumor mill immediately concluded that it was activated during another act of rebellion.

Mr. Carter denies it. "There was a fire in a fashion closet," he said. "I never set off the sprinkler system." He said that he does not smoke much in his office these days — "Not really."

However, Mr. Carter continues to light up in public spaces from time to time, as if he just wanted to vex the mayor. He once lit up not far from the mayor at the Four Seasons. But Mr. Carter said the opportunities were dwindling, as he chooses instead to entertain at home rather than be frustrated out and about town. (His specialty? Roast chicken.)

The tale of the power friendship torn asunder by smoldering sticks of Camels has been the talk of the downtown party circuit. "This is not up there with Britney's weekend wedding," said Michael Musto, one of the city's best known gossip columnists. "But the essence of good gossip is conflict between powerful people. This is something that is giving people a lot of entertaining party chitchat, because Graydon said what a lot of people in the party crowd are thinking."

Mr. Bloomberg maintains that most New Yorkers support the smoking ban, and said pointedly on his weekly radio show on Jan. 9 that there was only "one magazine editor who's apoplectic about this."

He added, "His own people turned him in because he was breaking the law."

Mr. Carter insisted that he thought Mr. Bloomberg was a good mayor, and that he would vote for him in a re-election.

"He's rich; I'm not. He doesn't smoke; I do. But we have common interests," Mr. Carter said. "He is an interesting guy — he is great enjoyable company — but we just disagree on this one issue. I would be very happy to see him in a room."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
January 21st, 2004, 03:18 PM
Bottom line: The guy does not like being told what to do.

He could not give a rats arse about feeding pidgeons or anything of the like, but prohibit him from lighting up!!! God FORBID!!!!!

Schadenfrau
January 22nd, 2004, 11:03 AM
Settle down, Ninjahedge. Do you like being told what to do?

Kris
January 23rd, 2004, 11:31 PM
January 24, 2004

Dare to Smoke? The Guy Behind You Is the Mayor

By SABRINA TAVERNISE

It would have been a delicate question under any circumstance. But the surprise presence of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg turned it into a New York farce.

At a table in the plush, quiet bar of The Mark hotel on the Upper East Side, a woman asked fellow drinkers if they minded her lighting a cigarette. She leaned from a perch on an armchair toward well-dressed diners at four tables near her. In the dimly lighted room, where about seven small groups sat sipping wine and cocktails, most guests simply muttered that they were not opposed.

But Richard Medley, out for a drink with friends, spotted an important reason to say no. He had watched as Mr. Bloomberg entered the bar earlier. The city's antismoking champion had taken his seat behind the unsuspecting smoker.

"She turned to me and said, 'Do you mind if I smoke,' " Mr. Medley recalled. "I said, 'I don't mind, but he might,' " he said, loudly enough for the room to enjoy the joke, and he pointed to Mr. Bloomberg.

The woman, dressed in jeans and a sweater, swung around to face him, and began to laugh. She then asked him if he minded her smoking. Mr. Bloomberg, laughing, expanded the joke. It was the bar owners who would be offended, he said. They stood to pay a fine for her indulgence.

"It was a very New York thing," Mr. Medley said. "It was all in very good humor."

Mr. Bloomberg remained unfazed. He even offered the woman a lesson in how to quit. Some time later, in a charm offensive, he bought her table drinks. The guests laughed at the joke. But in a New York minute, the room went back to nursing their drinks. The woman, ultimately, was not won over.

"I don't think she was going to follow his advice," Mr. Medley said. "I think she just dropped the subject."

A spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg declined to comment on the incident.

Yesterday morning, Mr. Bloomberg gave a glimpse into the pressures of being the city's smoking conscience. On his radio show on WABC-AM, he was asked by a caller whether he would crack down on energy waste, like air-conditioners that blast in stores in the summer.

"I took on the smoking," he said. "I'm not sure I want to take on air-conditioning this year.''

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
January 28th, 2004, 01:11 PM
Settle down, Ninjahedge. Do you like being told what to do?

Nope, but there is a line to be drawn. If someone was playing a boom box loud enough for you to hear it over whatever else you were listening or talking about, you would find that disturbing.

AAMOF, you would be asked to turn it off or leave. It is noise pollution.

No so long as it is not blasting, you will not suffer any asthmatic attacks, or any other lasting or "inconvient" adverse manefestations in direct relation to the music, but yet there is a law against it.

But somehow it is alright to do the same with smoking? You are disturbing my enjoyment of food, liquor, or just plain clean air. Some people have adverse reactions to it, and all people smell like poo when they are around a smoker for more than a moment while they are lit up, but since this is an established "freedom" in the minds of the users, somehow this is infringing on their rights.

In all fairness, if they allow smoking in the workplace, I should be allowed to drink water, and sprat 10% of it back out of my mouth on every sip, so long as I do not have any disease.

These are rediculous comparisons, but the basis remains the same. Smoking is an intrusive behavior that forces everyone to put up with one person's wants. Yet somehow it is more socially acceptable than farting at a party.

So whatever.

As for this guy, like i said. He does not like ANYONE telling him what to do, so that is why he is getting extremely pissey. Most of us have to deal with things like this every day, but a man in his position is not used to following the rules everyone else has to, and therefore he is pissed when he is forced, just like every other, to do something he does not want to do.

In most circles this is called spoiled. In his is it called "Yes Sir".

Clarknt67
January 28th, 2004, 04:06 PM
From the New York Observer:


But Mr. Carter still seems to think he’s striking a blow for the common man. He told The Times, referring to Mr. Bloomberg, “He’s rich; I’m not.” That Mr. Carter—who commands a huge salary and an exorbitant expense account and lives in a Manhattan townhouse—could claim with a straight face that he is not “rich” is rich indeed. Perhaps Mr. Carter should chat with some of the waiters who serve him his four-star dinners. They could explain to him that making a living off tips is hard enough without having to inhale toxic cigarette smoke all night

I was amused pondering by what definition Graydon Carter considers himself not rich. Wake up buddy, if you're pulling in hundreds of thousands a year, pay for almost nothing since your company buys your car, meals, wardrobe and vacations, and you have a townhouse in Manhattan to yourself: you're rich!

I don't care how humbled you felt last time you dropped by Jen and Brad's Hollywood mansion, it doesn't make you poor.

Agglomeration
January 29th, 2004, 10:01 PM
If smoking can be classified as an intrusive behavior, then Bloomberg's intolerant atittude towards anyone not behaving the way he wants is every bit as intrusive. :x That is all.

Ninjahedge
January 30th, 2004, 03:55 PM
It is, but if he did not have the money, he would have his head handed to him.

If someone came up to you and started being bossy and intrusive to you, you say you have the right to tell him to get lost. But yet somehow you don't get to do that to a smoker?

Agglomeration, do you happen to be a smoker? The only ones I have seen that have said this is unfair have been smokers.

ZippyTheChimp
January 30th, 2004, 04:48 PM
I think he just doesn't like Bloomberg, and since his tenure as mayor has been generally positive - well, you have to reach for issues.

I'm on the fence about the smoking issue. It's generally a good thing, but it could have waited for better economic times. It's not like it's the only thing that's killing us. People get pissed off enough with unemployment, tax increases, etc. There's no reason to pile it on.

The economic hardship to bars is not suppoted by the alcohol tax revenues, which have been stable.

As for the lament that the city is losing its edge, we can always go back to these days (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=2369). If you weren't around, believe me - the city was really edgy then.

Schadenfrau
January 30th, 2004, 05:07 PM
I know plenty of nonsmokers who aren't thrilled by the smoking ban. If you've got a friend who smokes, they're probably not going to go out with you nearly as much as they did before the ban took effect.

I'd also venture that there are quite a few nonsmoking bar owners who would love to see the ban vanish into the now-thin air.

Pottebaum
January 30th, 2004, 08:24 PM
I know that if there was a smoking ban in my area, bars would actually do better. I know tons of people who avoid going out to eat at certain places because the smoke gives them headaches, or they don't like the idea of coming home smelling like an ashtray.

Ninjahedge
February 2nd, 2004, 04:06 PM
Pott, that is the reason I hear all the time, and I would like to believe it, but in all honesty, 3/4 of those people just don't want to go out. They use the smoke as an excuse.

I am one that really likes going out in the smoke free bars, not smelling like crap when I come home, and not having red-eye from just blinking. But that is me, not everyone.

On the other hand, the whole arguement that non-smokers are annoyed because one of their friends is a smoker and has problems with going out is also not a fair reason to push the arguement one way or another. Somehow it is alright for someone to not want to go because there IS no smoke, but not wanting to go because there isn't is an inconvenience?

On top of that, it is not their problem anyway. What are their smoking friends doing? Staying at home? Why didn't these guys just stay at home in the first place? Oh, they wanted to go out. Word has it, with most recreational smokers that is, that most of these guys (and gals) did not smoke in their place because they did not like the smell of it.

So going to a 9semi) public space and making everyone else smell what you, yourself do not want at your place is somehow acceptable?

Oh, as for finantial woes, we have all found out that that is a load of BS. Sure some people are sneaking smokes here and there, but all in all I have not seen or heard of that many bars having problems from the smoking ban. They are starting to get back to their original profit margins despite the ban AND the recession.

(PS, liquor usually sells better in a recession, so the alcohol tax revenue not going down may not be a GOOD sign...)

Schadenfrau
February 3rd, 2004, 10:53 AM
I'd be interested to see a news article speculating that New York City bars are doing better since the ban. Everything I've read states the opposite.

The city has had a pretty strict ban against smoking in restaurants since 1995, so the real truth lies in the profits of the stand-alone bars.

Would all of you anti-smokers have a problem with designated smoking bars?

Ninjahedge
February 3rd, 2004, 02:08 PM
Shaden, it gets difficult to use the numbers for a few reasons this year.

First is the recession, which is just starting to lift. Seperating the results one from another would be difficult.

Second is the fact that this was one of the coldest winters on record. tracking the number of people that went out at ALL would help a bit in trying to scale the specific burden that was levied on the bar-onlys due to the smoking ban.

As for articles stating the problem, I am just referring to talking to the bar owners themselves. Sometimes you get much better information from the people you know than a news article.

Schadenfrau
February 3rd, 2004, 03:04 PM
I agree. Every single bar owner I've spoken with has been hurt by the ban. Where are the bars you're making reference to?

Ninjahedge
February 3rd, 2004, 03:11 PM
I asked about Kettle of Fish (in particular).

I have not asked Blind Tiger yet, but they seem to be as crowded as ever. Places like Corner Bistro you still have to wait, etc etc.

What I am saying is that it is difficult to pin it on one thing or another.

I will repeat myself, we had THE coldest winter on record (at least coldest in a LONG LONG time if someone actually digs up that January was 2 degrees warmer, on average, than 1920). People did not go OUT as much this year.

Putting all the good or the bad on the smoking is not a fair assesment until a year has gone by and people have settled into their new routines. Once the smokers get used to being outside, and the non-smokers start going out more, you will see a shift back to "normal" levels.

Right now so many people have a bug up their butts about the whole smoking thing that you will never get a strait answer. Getting an honest answer from a smoker about this is like trying to convince a Bush supporter that Iraq did not have anything to do with 9-11... ;)

Schadenfrau
February 3rd, 2004, 03:20 PM
Your distain for smokers is palpable, Ninjahedge. If you're going to be fair, you might as well add that getting a "strait" answer out of an anti-smoker is pretty impossible, as well.

I think perhaps the most important thing to remember in this situation is that one's own whimsy shouldn't influence law.

ZippyTheChimp
February 3rd, 2004, 03:35 PM
It's sometimes a pain in the ass when you're talking to a few people who smoke, and they all go out together to light up. I usually compensate by using their money to buy a round. :P

Now, when the bartender goes out to light up and my glass is empty - well, that's unacceptable.

New York State monthly alcohol tax collections for 2002 and 2003 (thousands):

month-----------------2002---------------------------2003
Jan--------------------20,328--------------------22,890
Feb--------------------10,600--------------------10,153
March-----------------10,164----------------------7,358
April-------------------17,159--------------------19,687
May--------------------14,617--------------------15,962
June-------------------14,611--------------------12,909
July--------------------17,183--------------------18,834
Aug--------------------14,389--------------------15,158
Sept-------------------16,368--------------------16,438
Oct---------------------13,319--------------------14,249
Nov--------------------16,111--------------------16,016
Dec--------------------15,604--------------------16,401

People sure bend their elbows in January.

Ninjahedge
February 3rd, 2004, 05:31 PM
Your distain for smokers is palpable, Ninjahedge. If you're going to be fair, you might as well add that getting a "strait" answer out of an anti-smoker is pretty impossible, as well.

I think perhaps the most important thing to remember in this situation is that one's own whimsy shouldn't influence law.

Your sarcasim and condescending mannerisims is also palpable my friend.

My dislike of smokers is akin to my dilike of people that play boomboxes while walking down the street. The only difference being that I do not smell like crap after standing/sitteng next to them for 5 min.

Smoking, in general, is intrusive, but somehow that is OK because it was somehow deemed to be a "right". No other substance is allowed to be imposed on others more than smoke.

So in your vain attempt to discredit muy own assumptions, you fail to site any references yourself.

A question I have for you. Do you smoke? Do the owners of the bars you have talked to, do they smoke? If so, having to quit smoking while working also influences their attitude and makes it something to consider in the assertations of their buisness being effected only by the inability of their patrons to light up.

Oh, one final zinger. If there is nothing wrong with smoke, why is it an insult to breathe it out into someone's face, even in a bar? Why do smokers travel with their windows open in the car? Why do a lot of smokers not smoke in their own houses (not all of them, but I have run into a good deal, especially the "casual" smokers).

Even smokers don't really LIKE smoke. ;)

Ninjahedge
February 3rd, 2004, 05:32 PM
It's sometimes a pain in the ass when you're talking to a few people who smoke, and they all go out together to light up. I usually compensate by using their money to buy a round. :P

Now, when the bartender goes out to light up and my glass is empty - well, that's unacceptable.

New York State monthly alcohol tax collections for 2002 and 2003 (thousands):

month-----------------2002---------------------------2003
Jan--------------------20,328--------------------22,890
Feb--------------------10,600--------------------10,153
March-----------------10,164----------------------7,358
April-------------------17,159--------------------19,687
May--------------------14,617--------------------15,962
June-------------------14,611--------------------12,909
July--------------------17,183--------------------18,834
Aug--------------------14,389--------------------15,158
Sept-------------------16,368--------------------16,438
Oct---------------------13,319--------------------14,249
Nov--------------------16,111--------------------16,016
Dec--------------------15,604--------------------16,401

People sure bend their elbows in January.

When did the ban go into effect? March?

Schadenfrau
February 3rd, 2004, 05:39 PM
March, but it wasn't enforced until May.

For someone so gung-ho about this law, you certainly don't seem very familiar with it, Ninjahedge.

Ninjahedge
February 3rd, 2004, 05:57 PM
I did not study it, Schadenfrau.

I am not defending my opinion in a court of law. If it is necessary to debate in a discussion, you can count me out. I do not rattle off numbers in defense of my position, but you seemed to have sidestepped the question there.

Do you smoke? Do the bar owners you have talked to smoke?

Schadenfrau
February 3rd, 2004, 06:19 PM
I actually quit, and the bar owners I spoke with are nonsmokers. They're simply able to separate their own whims from reality.

Ninjahedge
February 4th, 2004, 10:11 AM
Again with the implied ignorance through indirect reference.

Are you saying you can't seperate your whims from reality?

Schadenfrau
February 4th, 2004, 10:22 AM
No, I'm saying that because you don't like smoke, you don't think anyone should dare smoke around you. Would you be happy if there were more designated smoking bars?

Ninjahedge
February 4th, 2004, 11:19 AM
Actually, interesting you should bring that up.

this is a risky side topic, so I don't know how much flak this will get. But I think there should be, literally, smoking bars.

No liquor served. But more than just Tobacco served.

I am not an outright believer in the other green substances that people ignite to inhale, but I have yet to see anything besides junk food cravings result from anyone smoking that stuff.

Let them sell, in a licenced bar, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chey, and whatever they wanted in that range. The additional "perk" would be limited sale of marajuana(sp) or similar "low level" substances now considered illegal.

As for me not likeing being around smokers. I have put up with it. I do not like it, and a lot of smokers do not like the after effects themselves, but their addiction is more compelling than smokey hair.

Let me give you an example:

If someone were to come into a bar with a boom box playing some sort of music that was not racially offensive or anything, but still was not to the liking of some of the patrons there. It would be loud enough to be heard over the background and loud enough to interfere with things like the music already playing at the bar, but it would not be so loud you could not hear the conversation you are having.

It poses no health risk, it leaves no marks, stains, smell, or litter, but yet this guy would still be asked to turn off the box. Why? Because it was disturbing other people.

Now somehow asking people not to smoke for the same reason is, well, unreasonable? Agreed my analogy has only one person playing the music and that is not the same as the current smoking situation, but the point is still held that some irritations are treated differently, even though they are less intrusive than the others.

The other example I could give is what if I, in my particular drinking style, would be drinking my beer and proceed to spray 10% of it back out around me in all directions. I would not be drinking a stout or anything dark, and I would not be sick (so it would not be a health hazard). But the people around me would certainly be coated with a fine layer of beer by the end of the night. They would have the smell in their clothes, and eventually things would discolor due to the repeated exposure.

That is viewed as unacceptable. Primarily because it is a voluntary action while not exhaling is not a preferential option. But the effect is similar. In fact, the beer would be healthier in that it would not cause asthmatic attacks, and only a few people in the immediat vicinity would be effected.

So whatever. Buisness has not been hurt in most, if not all the buisnesses in town except the few that had nothing else to offer but smoking while you drank.

No big tradegy there. ;)

Schadenfrau
February 4th, 2004, 11:29 AM
Good lord. If you don't like hip-hop, don't go to a hip-hop club. If you don't like smoking, don't go to a smoking bar. It's as simple as that.

NYatKNIGHT
February 4th, 2004, 11:33 AM
Ninjahedge likes to type.

Schadenfrau
February 4th, 2004, 11:47 AM
I see.

Ninjahedge
February 4th, 2004, 03:21 PM
Good lord. If you don't like hip-hop, don't go to a hip-hop club. If you don't like smoking, don't go to a smoking bar. It's as simple as that.

No, it is not a question of liking hip-hop. It is a question of not liking someone doing something that intrudes on my space.

A loud conversation is viewed as disturbing and the person could be asked to leave as well.

Also, hip-hop is not addictive, so that is another unfair comparison.

Every single solitary point that I have EVER heard in favor of allowing people to smoke in bars can also be used in valid defense of not allowing it in bars.

Why don't you, and all the other smokers, just not smoke? It is pretty simple isn't it? Oh, I forgot, you can't do that. You are hooked and have no spine when it comes to that... ;)

As soon as that is said, in order to prove that the offended party has a spine, instead of actually NOT smoking, they get into an arguement proving that they would rather get in a physical confrontation with possible injury than just not smoke.

"Oh it is my cholce."

Fine, swallow your smoke and we will talk about it, otherwise, I am spitting my beer on your shoes... :P

Schadenfrau
February 4th, 2004, 03:28 PM
Did you miss the part where I tell you I don't smoke anymore?

There are plenty of things that intrude on my personal space, but I'm not about to go around trying to pass laws banning them. I despise dancing in bars, for instance, but I'm also opposed to the cabaret laws. I realize that what's right for me might not be right for someone else and I am in no position to tell others what to do with their lives.

Ninjahedge
February 4th, 2004, 05:20 PM
But you just said the very same thing.

There are laws about public disturbance such as noise. You are not allowed to honk just because other people are disturbed by it.

There are a LOT of things you are not allowed to do because they intrude on someone elses rights. But somehow just because something was a certain way, it is not allowed to be changed. The ones I hear complaining about it most are the bar going smokers.

the people I heard the most complaining about going out were non smokers primarily because of the smoke.

A close second were things like cost, crowds and admittance.

So, like I said, the same reasons that people site as reasons that they should have the right to smoke wherever they want are the smae reasons that people use for them NOT to smoke. "You can just go somewhere else".

No you can't. You never could. There was no choice. Either go to a bar or stay home, that was your choice. Now smokers have the very same choice and somehow that is unfair?

Schadenfrau
February 4th, 2004, 05:27 PM
I said "the very same thing" as what?

There was never a law demanding that bars allow smoking, Ninjahedge. The choice was up to the owners, as it well should be.

Ninjahedge
February 4th, 2004, 05:55 PM
The choice was never up to the owners. They were just the last ones to forbid it in their places.

If one person smokes, it ruins it for everone that does not, and last time I checked there are more non smokers than smokers.

Now, that one smoker shifts the ratio. In addition, smoking an addictive substance that is less irritating when others partake of the same thing is not exactly the most fair and balanced way to argur the legitamacy of saying that smoking is some sort of god given right and that people should be allowed to do it wherever they want.

The point I was bringing out about what you were saying was simply this: You have no right to say what other people should do, but by allowing certain acts you are FORCING other people to do things your way. Either put up with the smoke or leave.

Now comes the whole "choice of the owners". That is BS, you know as well as I do that any individual bar that did not allow smoking would not last long. Why? Because of the 100 years or so of precedent that make it so that more smokers attend bars because non-smokers dont, of all things, like smoke.

Youlet the playing field level out again and you will see very little if any difference.

It is always "waa waa waa" whenever it does not go the way of an addict. ;)

Schadenfrau
February 4th, 2004, 06:06 PM
Honestly, stop accusing anyone who disagrees with your blather of being an "addict".

There were quite a few successful non-smoking bars in the city before the ban took effect; Halcyon in Carroll Gardens, for one. No one has ever forced you to set foot in a bar where people are smoking, just as no one will ever force you to enter an S&M themed establishment. You simply feel entitled to have a prepackaged world, set exactly to your own liking.

Ninjahedge
February 5th, 2004, 01:37 PM
Honestly, stop accusing anyone who disagrees with your blather of being an "addict".

There were quite a few successful non-smoking bars in the city before the ban took effect; Halcyon in Carroll Gardens, for one. No one has ever forced you to set foot in a bar where people are smoking, just as no one will ever force you to enter an S&M themed establishment. You simply feel entitled to have a prepackaged world, set exactly to your own liking.

Incorrect. Stop your blather about personal freedoms that infringe on the rights of others.

Your siting of the three bars in NYC that had non-smoking and were successful does not lend any strength and credibility to your own argument.

What were the prices there, where were they located and what did they serve?

You mean to tell me that a bar is nothing more to you than any other place to drink? That all the bars are the same and therefore it is a simple matter to avoid the 1500 bars in town that had smoking in order to find the 5 bars that did not have it.

Oh, looking up Halcyon in BROOKLYN:

"While DJs of all stripes take to the decks, spinning minimal techno, deep house, Brazilian and hip-hop, guests are free to sink into the couches and play '70s games like Perfection, or check out the used-record collection on headphones in back. The for-sale furnishings guarantee a constantly morphing decor, and the vinyl-oriented space--conceived as a "dream living room"--is chock-a-block with DJ cred. Check this joint (which you'll be able to spot by the Lite-Brite sign in the window) for noontime record parties, film nights and underground soirees."

Sounds like the perfect place to ask for a microbrew or listen to some Velvet Underground.

Do you always need to deride to try to prove your point? You have yet to come up with a reason why smoking should be allowed besides "you want it to be".

Schadenfrau
February 5th, 2004, 01:51 PM
Ever heard the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid"?

Ninjahedge
February 5th, 2004, 02:47 PM
Ever heard the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid"?

No, I guess you are the only person people say that to.... ;)

Kris
February 11th, 2004, 07:05 AM
February 11, 2004

Smoke if You Have Money? Hardly, Mayor Says

BY JENNIFER STEINHAUER

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is once again slipping into the quicksand created by his citywide smoking ban - not over its existence, but over perceived inconsistencies in enforcing it.

The troubles for the mayor began last week when The New York Times reported on a black-tie dinner on Jan. 15 at the St. Regis Hotel where Wall Street big shots puffed away on cigars within smelling distance of the mayor. Mr. Bloomberg, whose ban on smoking extends to every restaurant, bar and hotel in the city, has urged New Yorkers to tattle on those who break the law. The city has issued dozens of summonses.

Mr. Bloomberg has since said he did not see smoking - or at least he did not remember seeing smoking - at the St. Regis event, and yesterday he became annoyed during an interview on WLIB when he was asked about it again.

"It's somebody trying to make a story," Mr. Bloomberg said. "The bottom line is, I don't really remember anybody smoking. Most people weren't, and if there were some people in the corner smoking, they were smoking. What do you want me to do, call the cops?"

Well, yes, many people indeed would have liked to see Mr. Bloomberg force the wealthy revelers at the St. Regis to put their cigars out, because that in fact is what the law dictates. The problem for Mr. Bloomberg is that he has more than once given the appearance of having a different standard for upper-class New Yorkers - some of whom have taken to puffing in front of the mayor with the explicit goal of taunting him - than he does for bar hoppers around the rest of the city.

"Bloomberg is a clear example of 'Do As I Say, Not As I Do,' " said Tricia Romano, who has a nightlife column in The Village Voice. "The places he parties are high-society hangouts - they aren't going to get complaints from the neighbors. And I'd be shocked if a gang of rich socialites were huddled outside smoking cigarettes and driving the neighbors crazy with the noise."

This is not the first time this has happened to Mr. Bloomberg. Last summer, police officers gave tickets to people drinking beer in public at a July 4 party on the beach in the Rockaways, but allowed people to drink wine in Central Park during a free concert by the New York Philharmonic the following Monday.

When asked about the discrepancy at a news conference, Mr. Bloomberg said that the drinking near the beach led to drowning, adding: "I don't know of anybody that's drowned in a tuba recently."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Schadenfrau
February 11th, 2004, 11:32 AM
I found out last night that someone had called the cops on my local (working class) bar last night. Who in the world is loser enough to do that? If you can't bring yourself to confront the smoker yourself, you really just need to suck it up. When did New Yorkers become such pansies?

Ninjahedge
February 11th, 2004, 01:47 PM
Because if you confront the smoker directly, 9 times out of 10 you will get into a fight, possibly a physical altercation.

If there is a way to call in the authorities to take care of it for you, without ruining YOUR evening in the process, then who cares.

"Oh you saw that guy selling crack on the corner and you did not even go up to him and tell him to stop? Pansie!"

An extrapolation of the smoking situation to illustrate the inherent idiocy of confronting a smoker in a bar when there are easier anonymous methods to do so.

Schadenfrau
February 11th, 2004, 02:05 PM
"Easier, anonymous methods?"

Are you really afraid of smokers attacking you? Aren't you the person who was just posting about spitting beer and pouring drinks on smokers' shoes?

If you truly believe it's more logical to phone the police and get your local bar a $2,000 fine than it is to simply politely address someone, I'm not even going to bother arguing with you.

You're a man, right? I'm not, but I get the feeling I've got bigger cajones than you do.

Schadenfrau
February 11th, 2004, 02:10 PM
Here's some more food for thought:

1. The bar in my story also holds readings and concerts, yet has no cabaret license. Should I phone the police about it?

2. There's also an illegal worker behind the bar. Should I phone about that?

3. The bar offers buy-backs, which are illegal in New York City. Does that deserve a call?

4. I spotted people smoking under the awning outside. That's not legal, either. Is it fair to phone about that?

Ninjahedge
February 11th, 2004, 05:55 PM
"Easier, anonymous methods?"

Are you really afraid of smokers attacking you? Aren't you the person who was just posting about spitting beer and pouring drinks on smokers' shoes?

If you truly believe it's more logical to phone the police and get your local bar a $2,000 fine than it is to simply politely address someone, I'm not even going to bother arguing with you.

You're a man, right? I'm not, but I get the feeling I've got bigger cajones than you do.

No I am not. Spitting beer is an analogy that you are taking out of context and is therefore not even in consideration.

As for me spitting on a smokers shoes, the comment was meant to convey the apparent lack of understandig you have in the insult that I take, and may others take, for having smoke in their face, intensional or not.

Now, as for SOMEONE ELSE doing it, what do you think? There is a choice. You see someone breaking the law, you have the right to call them on it. You do not have to go up and confront them personally. It will, in 9 out of 10 times, cause a fight.

You don't deny my contension, you just seem to avoid addressing the issue. You resort to calling me a coward and insulting my sexuality. I am sorry you think that the size of your testicles has something to do with your right to smoke, but I will take that into account next time. (not).

I am only addressing the fact that it is not surprising, or cowardly for someone to call the cops on someone who is smoking at the bar. I feel bad that the owner has to pay for someone else breaking the rules, but smoking is not exactly the easiest thing to conceal. There may have been extenuating circumstances that made it difficult for the bar owner or employees to see the rule breaker and in that case it is rather unfair for the owner to bear the brunt of the fine. But I doubt this was the case.

As for someone not doing it in "a local bar" you are implying that everyone in there is somehow connected with the owner. That is not always the case, and I can see how someone not chummy with the owner would have little qualms about reporting someone.

Now, one thing I must say is unfair is the fact that the smoker himself is not responsible for any of the fine. I think it is a joint responsibility, both owner and offender should bear the brunt. The owner paying would encourage compliance and vigalance. The offender paying will curb his desire to have another $500 cigarette.

Ninjahedge
February 11th, 2004, 06:04 PM
Here's some more food for thought:

1. The bar in my story also holds readings and concerts, yet has no cabaret license. Should I phone the police about it?

2. There's also an illegal worker behind the bar. Should I phone about that?

3. The bar offers buy-backs, which are illegal in New York City. Does that deserve a call?

4. I spotted people smoking under the awning outside. That's not legal, either. Is it fair to phone about that?

Should you, or should you be called a coward for doing so?

You should do what you like in that, but also not be offended by someone blowing the whistle.

As for the individual points:

1. Isn't a cabaret licence only in relation to dancing? I don't believe it applies to reading or music playing in itself.

2. If there is an illegal worker behind the bar WORKING, it is not your responsibility to report him, unless maybe that worker effects you or your person. Say you were applying for a job there, but they did not hire because they said they had no need. Having an illegal worker doing the work you could do would be a motivator for you to do something about it.

3. The buy-back policy I am unfamiliar with. But I am unsure if it is literally the bar buying you anything. It is simply not charging you for it in the first place. I don't think they can literally force you an alcohol you did not order, but I am unsure if the waiving of the charge is tantamount to an offense.

4. The awning thing depends on whether it is considered a part of the enclosure. I have not read the specific on that. But keep in mind, the law also states that people cannot smoke within a certain radius of the doorway at any places of employment. Since the law qualifies a bar as a place of employment, it could be argued that they are not allowed to smoke anywhere near the doorway either. I am unfamiliar about that.

Do any of these state that you HAVE to do this? No. But, like I said, it is simply a case where someone was smoking, someone else did not like it. They called the authorities and the smoking stopped.

Do you dislike any of the 4 things you mentioned? No? Then why are you asking me if you should call.

You are taking this way too personally man. Relax. Step outside.

Have a smoke. ;)

Schadenfrau
February 11th, 2004, 06:39 PM
Like I told you, I am a woman and I don't smoke.

I am taking this seriously, because your cavalier attitude about the erosion of personal freedoms is what seems to be sucking the charm and life out of this city.

The cabaret license includes live music.

I find it hard to believe you're unfamiliar with the tradition of a bartender giving free drinks to good patrons.

There is no law against smoking within a set number of feet outside a business in New York City.

Call me crazy, but I don't call the police on people who are doing something I don't like. In old times, they used to call that a rat fink. And no one liked them.

Unless someone is in imminent danger, there's no need to call the cops.

As for your assertions that I'm too cowardly to confront someone breaking the law: you're totally off. I've chased down purse-snatchers, confronted street harassers, yelled at child abusers and won myself two black eyes while fighting off a carjacker.

I hope you're proud the next time you dial the snitch line to report the heinous crime of smoking in a bar. I'm sure the bar owner will appreciate your "smokers should have to pay" theory as much as they'll respect your good deeds as a law-abiding citizen.

Schadenfrau
February 12th, 2004, 10:31 AM
P.S. Throughout all my adventures in crime fighting, I've never once had to engage in fisticuffs after politely requesting someone refrain from smoking.

Ninjahedge
February 12th, 2004, 10:36 AM
Like I told you, I am a woman and I don't smoke.

I am taking this seriously, because your cavalier attitude about the erosion of personal freedoms is what seems to be sucking the charm and life out of this city.

The cabaret license includes live music.

I find it hard to believe you're unfamiliar with the tradition of a bartender giving free drinks to good patrons.

There is no law against smoking within a set number of feet outside a business in New York City.

Call me crazy, but I don't call the police on people who are doing something I don't like. In old times, they used to call that a rat fink. And no one liked them.

Unless someone is in imminent danger, there's no need to call the cops.

As for your assertions that I'm too cowardly to confront someone breaking the law: you're totally off. I've chased down purse-snatchers, confronted street harassers, yelled at child abusers and won myself two black eyes while fighting off a carjacker.

I hope you're proud the next time you dial the snitch line to report the heinous crime of smoking in a bar. I'm sure the bar owner will appreciate your "smokers should have to pay" theory as much as they'll respect your good deeds as a law-abiding citizen.

First of all Shade, you are saying that I did it or that I would. I am merely endorsing the other's behavior.

Ooh, a snitch. Is this some sort of prison or something? We all have to keep the smokers secret? Come on woman!

As for the buy-back, that is a phrase. It is a free drink given. The guy USUALLY orders it, but then payment is refused. I am familiar with it, but I am not familiar with the specific wording delineating the legality of the action. I believe liquor laws prohibits the furnishing of alcohol to an individual that did not request it. It makes it sort of a pusher-protection.

I am not sure on that and I would have to read up on it, but it does not interfere with my life, so I really don't give a rats arse.

Now, as for you fighting off a car-jacker, congrats, but that is a slightly different situation. Purse snatcher, fine. But have you confronted a group of kids littering on a subway platform? Have you ever gotten into a physical fight because of voicing yourself like that? I have.

I know that if I go up to the guy sitting there chucking garbage on the tracks they will either give me a disgusted look OR start arguing. Will the garbage be picked up? No. Will they stop littering? No. Will I get into a fight because of expressing my disaproval of something like this? Maybe.

You expressed your disaproval of someone "secretly" calling the cops on the smoker. If this person did not want a fight, and did not appreciate the person doing this, they have ALL RIGHTS to call the cops.

Do I think it is a little unfair to the owner? As I said before, yes. You can't police everything all the time, but at the same time, he must be more vigilant to prevent this or run the risk. I also think the smoker themself should be held responsible for their own actions.

If a patron pulled a gun on someone and shot them dead in the bar, the owner would not be held responsible for it, but if the gun was shown and known to the owner, he may be held partially responsible for allowing him to stay. The onus of guilt would be, however, in the hands of the shooter, not the passive owner.

Smoking is the unnecessary injestion of an irritating substance that infringes on the personal space and rights of those in the surrounding area. The inherent dismissal of the non participants desires on the matter is tantamount to a discreditation of their importance.

If you wanted to make it fair and allow it in bars, I say go on ahead. But do me a favor. Make it follow the exact same rules as alcohol.

No selling of it in any establishment that is not licenced. Smoking age now becomes 21, and you cannot smoke in public.

Smoke it up in the bars, clubs and in your home, but as soon as you get in any area that I can, or HAVE to be in at any given time, put the pack back in the pocket.

Unfortunately, I know how compulsive the addiction is. 90% of the smokers out there would not be able to go one day without sneaking something, so whatever.

NYatKNIGHT
February 12th, 2004, 11:43 AM
Let's please keep this thread civil, on topic, and less of a personal spat. Thank you both.

Schadenfrau
February 12th, 2004, 12:32 PM
Already done.

Ninjahedge
February 12th, 2004, 03:06 PM
:)

Kris
March 9th, 2004, 08:02 AM
March 9, 2004

A Cultural History Faces Stringent Smoking Laws

By COREY KILGANNON

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/09/nyregion/09hook.1xl.jpg
Khalid Kairouani, foreground, and Abel Kairouani smoking water pipes called hookahs at the Egyptian Coffee Shop in Astoria, Queens.

Of the roughly 20 hookah bars in New York City, about half are clustered along a short stretch of Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens, known as Little Egypt. Here in the hazy cafes, owned mostly by Egyptian immigrants, men smoke fruit-flavored tobacco called shisha through water pipes called hookahs as they banter in Arabic, play chess or backgammon, or simply pass the day in a fragrant fog.

But big trouble has come to Little Egypt, causing the kind of jitters more often associated with the cigarette habit. Hookah shop owners say the city's Health Department has begun sending agents to Steinway Street to aggressively enforce the stringent smoking laws that took effect last spring - laws the owners had thought they could quietly sidestep.

Ali Mohamed and Moustafa Elgohry, Egyptian immigrants who own a shisha cafe on Steinway Street near 25th Avenue, said they had received six summonses from the city in recent months, one resulting in a $1,200 fine. "We charge $4 for a smoke," Mr. Mohamed said. "Do you know how many shishas I have to sell to make that back?"

When the smoking ban first took effect a year ago, the two men said, they received sporadic summonses, several of which were dismissed by the Health Department's administrative tribunal. "But they've been very aggressive lately," Mr. Mohamed said. "Two weeks ago, they sent their guys to every shisha shop on the block. It's harassment."

Mr. Elgohry said enforcement agents had warned customers in his shop that they, too, would be ticketed if caught smoking. "They've scared some of our customers away," Mr. Mohamed said. "We're hard-working people trying to earn a living. I worked 20 years driving a cab for the money to open this store. Now they're trying to close us down."

The owners have enlisted the help of their councilman, Peter Vallone Jr., who wrote to the city's health commissioner last week arguing that the shisha cafes are no different than the cigar bars that qualify for a legal exemption from the smoking laws. Mr. Vallone said that city law allows smoking if the bars draw at least 10 percent of their revenue from the sale of tobacco. Most of the shisha café owners say they earn well over half their revenue from tobacco.

But a Health Department official said yesterday that the cigar-bar exemption applied only to places that sell alcohol.

Elliott S. Marcus, an assistant commissioner, said, "Hookah establishments may apply for an exemption as a tobacco bar - which by definition is an establishment where the sale of food is incidental, at least 40 percent of gross receipts are from the sale of alcohol, and at least 10 percent of gross receipts are from the sale of tobacco products or the rental of humidors.

"To date, the department has not received any tobacco bar applications from hookah establishments," he said, adding that they were therefore subject to the city smoking ban.

The cafe owners said they would not serve alcohol because most of their customers were Muslims, who do not drink.

"I've asked that the city give them exclusion from the smoking laws because they fit into a cigar bar exemption," Mr. Vallone said last week. "The only difference is that they don't serve alcohol, but should they be punished for that?"

The cafe owners contend that hookah smoking is a vital part of their culture. And their shops were instrumental, they say, in transforming what was a downtrodden block several years ago into a bustling commercial strip where shops stay open late at night and people mill about on the street the way they do in downtown Cairo.

Many of the cafes draw their largest crowds well past midnight. Egyptians, Algerians, Tunisians and others, mostly men, sit next to tall ornate water pipes, sipping juices, coffee or strong tea between puffs. Some like the tobacco dipped in molasses or flavored with fruits or spices. A full pipe usually costs $4 and can last an hour.

Muhamed Bashir, who owns a restaurant on Steinway Street that offers shisha smoking, said: "We get customers from all over - Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey. But they would not come if we didn't have smoking."

City agents have inspected his shop three times recently, he said, adding, "Luckily, no one was smoking when they came, but they said, 'If anyone smokes hookah, we're going to give them a ticket.' "

Esam Adly, the manager of the Egyptian Cafe, which opened four years ago on Steinway Street, said he had received three summonses in recent months. Two were dismissed after hearings and the third will be heard later this month, he said.

"New York has many different cultures, and smoking shisha is part of our culture," he said, staring nervously into an open-air oven baking small coals to a rosy glow so they could be placed on hookahs to keep the shisha burning. "It's an Arabic tradition, and it's our whole business. We couldn't stay open without it."

Muhammed Darwish, 36, a livery driver, sat last week in the Egyptian Coffee Shop. "This is our culture," he said. "Smoking brings our people together. It's not like a bar. People only come here if they want to smoke, or don't mind others smoking. Customers would rather smoke here than at home, around their wife and children."

Next to him was another hookah smoker, Khalid Kairouani, 38, a former Olympic runner from Morocco who has won three United States championships in the 3,000-meter category. He exhaled a thick plume of aromatic smoke toward the No Smoking signs on the wall. The owner, Labib Salama, said he put the signs up because cigarettes were banned in the shop.

"Shisha is the reason people come here," said Mr. Salama, 50, an Egyptian immigrant who recently called many fellow cafe owners to his shop to plan strategy and choose a lawyer to help them fight the city crackdown.

"If the city stops shisha smoking, many shops here will close," Mr. Salama said. "We brought this block back to life. Does the city want it to be dead again?"

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/09/nyregion/09hook.2.jpg
At the Egyptian Cafe, hot coals are added to a hookah to keep the fruit-flavored tobacco burning.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Freedom Tower
March 9th, 2004, 04:16 PM
Everyone has been talking about "freedom" in this thread. I think people also have the freedom of being able to breath in the city. The ban doesn't ban outdoor smoking so what's the big deal? I know whenever I go anywhere I hate to smell that nasty smoke. It is peoples right not to have to breath all that crap in. 2nd hand smoke causes many deaths!! How would you like dying because stubborn people want to violate a ban and smoke? And as long as they can still take their smoke outside what is the big deal?

Freedom Tower
March 9th, 2004, 04:23 PM
Like I told you, I am a woman and I don't smoke.

I am taking this seriously, because your cavalier attitude about the erosion of personal freedoms is what seems to be sucking the charm and life out of this city.

The cabaret license includes live music.

I find it hard to believe you're unfamiliar with the tradition of a bartender giving free drinks to good patrons.

There is no law against smoking within a set number of feet outside a business in New York City.

Call me crazy, but I don't call the police on people who are doing something I don't like. In old times, they used to call that a rat fink. And no one liked them.

Unless someone is in imminent danger, there's no need to call the cops.

As for your assertions that I'm too cowardly to confront someone breaking the law: you're totally off. I've chased down purse-snatchers, confronted street harassers, yelled at child abusers and won myself two black eyes while fighting off a carjacker.

I hope you're proud the next time you dial the snitch line to report the heinous crime of smoking in a bar. I'm sure the bar owner will appreciate your "smokers should have to pay" theory as much as they'll respect your good deeds as a law-abiding citizen.

People are in imminent danger. "Passive smoking is estimated by EPA to cause approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths in nonsmokers each year." http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/etsbro.html

Why not call the cops? If there are many people smoking around you and after telling them to, they dont stop, that is a threat to your life!! If you are exposed to second hand smoke everyday you may as well smoke yourself. Plus if it is illegal and you do not want to suffer from it then sure, call the cops. I also hate "rat finks", especially when they "tattle" on murderers. :roll:

Besides, no one is stopping people from smoking outdoors, that is the way it should be. People should be allowed to smoke, it is bad and all but if they want to, then let them destroy their lungs, dont destroy our lungs too though!

Also I dont think the charm and life of NYC is smokers :lol:

Freedom Tower
March 9th, 2004, 04:29 PM
Also, you have bigger "cojones" than ninjahedge, why? Becuase he cares about his health??? Personally if you own an establishment and someone is violating a law in that establishment I would think that either you would tell them to stop or you'd call the police yourself. It is awful for other law-obiding citizens to have to step in just to enjoy themselves. If i was relaxing at a bar and didnt want to smell smoke, maybe if the guy smoking was 6'5" and huge and muscular I too would be afraid to ask him to stop. And since it is illegal, why not do something about it?

Personally though, my first response would be to move to another part of the bar. Then if that didn't help and the guy wasn't extremely intimidating I'd ask him to stop smoking politely. If he didn't I'd probably call the cops.

Zoe
March 10th, 2004, 12:13 AM
I have visited those shops in Astoria several times. The people in there are very nice to visitors and the prices are very low. For less than $10 you can get a hookah to use with your choice of flavored tobacco and a few drinks. If you are a smoker and like to try new things, I recommend a visit.
Ok, feel free to resume your arguements over smoking (like it matters)

ZippyTheChimp
March 10th, 2004, 09:31 AM
I've chased down purse-snatchers, confronted street harassers, yelled at child abusers and won myself two black eyes while fighting off a carjacker.
Shadenfrau, you are one scary woman. I think I'll be nice to you. :P

The shisha cafes seem to be stuck in a law that doesn't fit them.

Ninjahedge
March 10th, 2004, 01:19 PM
I agree, the Shisha places are built primarily on the sale and consumption of tobacco.

Kind of odd that they do not allow a place that has tobacco if they do not sell alcohol. I would think that it would have to be the other way around, don't you think?

ZippyTheChimp
March 10th, 2004, 04:26 PM
Actually, they are covered by the law regulating restaurants - no smoking. There should be an exception to that law that would allow smoking in these establishments.

Agglomeration
March 15th, 2004, 08:11 PM
The Gestapo mentality is kicking in... I'm not happy about it. I'm hearing far too many stories about Nazi-emulating anti-smoking zealots becoming intolerant of anything resembling tobacco, even outdoors.

Ninjahaedge, the subject will be sensitive, but I hope you're not wishing that tobacco products be declared illegal under Federal law and declared a dangerous narcotic punishable by long prison terms. If that were to happen the ongoing War on Drugs would be overwhelmed.

ZippyTheChimp
March 15th, 2004, 08:49 PM
Overuse of terms like Nazi and Gestapo in arguments with no eqivalence only dilutes their significance.

Schadenfrau
March 16th, 2004, 01:09 PM
I agree. I prefer fascist.

Kris
March 29th, 2004, 05:38 AM
March 29, 2004

Bars and Restaurants Thrive Amid Smoking Ban, Study Says

By ANDREA ELLIOTT

The city's restaurants and bars have prospered despite the smoking ban, with increases in jobs, liquor licenses and business tax payments since the law took effect a year ago, according to a study to be released by the city today.

The study also found that air pollution levels had decreased sixfold in bars and restaurants after the ban went into effect, and that New Yorkers had reported less secondhand smoke in the workplace.

"It really confirms that New York City is now a healthier place to work, eat and drink," said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, commissioner of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which produced the report along with two other city departments and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Critics say the report is flawed because it does not separate bar and restaurant statistics, whereas bars have suffered more from the ban, critics contend. The increase in tax payments and jobs must be weighed against the restaurant industry's emergence from the post-9/11 recession, said David Rabin, president of the New York Nightlife Association.

"There's no separation between Starbucks and McDonald's and the nightclub and bar industry," Mr. Rabin said. "Many restaurant and bar workers have had to take second jobs to make up for lost tip income."

Data from the city's Department of Finance shows that the money spent in New York bars and restaurants has increased, the report states: from April 2003 to January, the city collected about $17.3 million in tax payments from bars and restaurants, a rise of about $1.4 million over the same period a year earlier.

The payments were for the general corporation tax and the unincorporated business tax, and are usually collected quarterly from restaurants and bars. The rates have not changed since before April 2003.

An average of 164,000 people were employed in restaurants and bars in 2003, the highest number in at least a decade. Since the smoking ban took effect last March 30, employment in bars and restaurants has risen by 10,600 jobs, taking into account seasonal fluctuations, according to the report.

The number of the city's bars and restaurants - roughly 20,000 - remained about the same in the third quarter of 2002 as in the third quarter of 2003. Last year, the New York State Liquor Authority issued 1,416 new liquor licenses to New York City businesses, compared with 1,361 the previous year, the study reports.

But the report does not reflect the harsh realities faced by the city's bars, which catered to a smoking-heavy crowd before the ban, said bar merchants, who questioned why bar data was not separate in the report. The city's answer is that data that separates bars from restaurants is not reliable, said Sam Miller, a spokesman for the Department of Finance.

"We'd be guessing, and we probably wouldn't be as accurate," Mr. Miller said.

To try to demonstrate where the report fell short, David McWater offered his own experience: he owns five taverns in Manhattan, including Nice Guy Eddie's and Julep in the East Village. Last year, he said, his businesses experienced, on average, a 1 percent increase in sales, compared with the usual 8 to 15 percent sales increase enjoyed by the bars in previous years.

"In the old days a smoker might spend six hours in my bar drinking and talking to friends," said Mr. McWater, 38. "Now he's spending four hours in the bar and two hours outside smoking. I can't serve people outside. Every time a smoker goes outside, that's lost revenue."

The study also found that 97 percent of the more than 22,000 establishments inspected by the city from April 2003 through February were found in compliance with the new law and that 150,000 New Yorkers reported less exposure to secondhand smoke in their workplaces since the ban took effect.

The Health Department conducted an air quality survey of a sampling of bars and restaurants in August 2002 and returned to the locations in May 2003, after the ban took effect, and noted substantial improvement.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

SCCatColumbiaU
April 1st, 2004, 10:52 AM
The NYC restaurant and bar smoking ban: one year later

On March 30, 2004, New York City celebrated the first year anniversary of its smoke-free workplace legislation. A report issued by four city agencies (finance, health, small business, and economic development) has shown that, by multiple measures, the City’s smoke-free legislation has been good for the city and its residents:
a. Employment in NYC’s restaurant/bar industry is the highest in over a decade.
b. Tax receipts of restaurants and bars are up 8.7%.
c. Bar permits and licenses increased by more than 200%.
d. Air quality in restaurants and bars is significantly better. Levels of cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, measured in restaurants and bars are down by 85%.
e. Compliance is high. Inspection of 22,000 establishments revealed that 97% inspected posted NO SMOKING signs, removed ashtrays, and had no one smoking.

These events have led Dr. Thomas Frieden, NYC’s Health Commissioner, to declare the city a healthier place to live. “This confirms what we have thought all along,” said Dr. Lirio Covey of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. “The ban may have actually welcomed back non-smoking patrons who had avoided some restaurants and bars.” Dr. Covey, who continues to see a steady flow of smokers seeking to quit, hopes this news will quell some of people’s earlier fears and encourage would-be quitters to put down that cigarette once and for all.

The number of deaths from smoking speaks for itself: an estimated 440,000 Americans die each year. Dr. Covey, Director of the Smoking Cessation Program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, is currently recruiting participants for a federally-funded study on smoking cessation and relapse prevention. Volunteers to the research receive a medical evaluation, Zyban, nicotine patch, and individual counseling during an initial 8-week treatment program. Successful quitters then enter a 16-week study where they receive Zyban, nicotine gum, or placebo. The investigators will examine the study data to determine if the high rate of smoking relapse will be lower among participants who continue to use the smoking cessation medications, i.e. Zyban or nicotine gum, compared with those who receive the placebo. Men and women of all ethnic groups are invited to enter the study (call 212-543-5905 for more information).

Kris
April 5th, 2004, 12:14 AM
April 5, 2004

Smoking Ban Is Popular

To the Editor:

The Smoke-Free Air Act is an extremely popular health measure, favored by New Yorkers by nearly 2-to-1 majorities in virtually every poll. It is therefore puzzling that you refer to the law as unpopular ("For First Time in Months, Poll Looks Up for Bloomberg," news article, April 1).

The popularity of smoke-free workplaces is not surprising. Four out of five New Yorkers don't smoke, and polls show that New Yorkers overwhelmingly believe that workers are entitled to breathe smoke-free air, too.

The small but vocal minority that opposes this health measure has received disproportionate media coverage. The data are clear: a large majority of New Yorkers approves of smoke-free workplace legislation.

THOMAS R. FRIEDEN, M.D.
Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York, April 1, 2004

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Agglomeration
April 5th, 2004, 12:52 AM
Great messianic propaganda from Mayor Doomberg. Thanks to him, I've stoppped going to bars and clubs and haven't touched a single drop of beer. People have no idea how great I feel after a month of sobriety. It's only a matter of time before he and his supporters turn prohibitionist; I've heard of activists calling for such a thing already.

Schadenfrau
April 7th, 2004, 05:39 PM
If the smoking ban is so darn popular, why doesn't the city conduct a poll of stand-alone bars, not including restaurants? The vast majority of restaurants were prevented from having smoking sections, thanks to Giuliani's 1995 ban. This ban wouldn't have had any impact on them at all.

BigMac
April 8th, 2004, 10:53 PM
New York Newsday
April 8, 2004

Judge upholds smoking ban

The city's year-old Smoke-free Air Act cleared a key legal test Thursday as a federal judge rejected a constitutional challenge by a smokers' rights group.

U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero shot down all the arguments from the group Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, or CLASH that the smoking ban violates rights to free expression, assembly, travel and equal protection.

Marrero even called the group's attempt to prove its case "akin to trying to scale Mount Everest with a ball of string."

"There is nothing to suggest that the smoking bans are aimed at the suppression of any expressive conduct," Marrero said.

The judge also rejected the group's attempt to discredit authorities' assertions that secondhand smoke causes death and injury and thereby argue that there was no "rational basis" for the law.

Marrero cited "immense support from the empirical data."

In another portion of the 83-page decision, the judge compares the smoking ban with stringent state auto exhaust emission laws.

While the law does "single out a particular class of persons" and "places some greater burdens on their activities," that doesn't mean it violates the Constitution's equal protection clause, he wrote.

"Smokers remain free to associate and assemble as they please, to smoke or not, whether it be in a bar, a restaurant, a city street or any other place where it is permissible to do so," he said.

City and state lawyers hailed the decision, issued in Manhattan.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

Kris
April 9th, 2004, 01:22 AM
April 9, 2004

Rejecting Constitutional Claims, Judge Upholds Smoking Bans

By SUSAN SAULNY

A federal judge in Manhattan has upheld the smoking bans that the city and state enacted last year.

In a widely expected decision released yesterday, Judge Victor Marrero of the United States Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the bans do not unduly burden smokers' rights to freedom of speech, association, travel or any other protected privileges.

Audrey Silk, the founder of the group that filed the lawsuit against the bans last July - NYC Clash, Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment - said yesterday that it had not yet decided whether to appeal.

"Of course we're disappointed, because we feel we presented a very strong case with a lot of documents that refute the common perceptions," Ms. Silk said.

The group contended that the amount of smoke bartenders and waiters are exposed to is limited, and so not enough of a health threat to necessitate a ban, Ms. Silk said. Summing up that point, she added: "The dose makes the poison."

But the court did not agree with the group's move to discredit scientific evidence about the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, or any of its other points.

The group also held that the city's Smoke Free Air Act and provisions of the state's Clean Indoor Air Act are variously vague and overly restrictive, violating the First and 14th Amendments.

Judge Marrero held that the group's First Amendment arguments had a "critical flaw" - "the premise that association, speech, and general social interaction cannot occur or cannot be experienced to the fullest without smoking."

Clash suggested that the ban would deter travel to and within the state, eating away at the liberty to move freely, a right that the 14th Amendment states cannot be abridged without due process of law.

But the judge wrote that he doubted the bans would play any material role in smokers' travel decisions. "Smokers remain free to travel as they please, to no less degree than nonsmokers, and may still smoke while they drive their automobiles or walk in the streets," he said.

The city's chief lawyer on the case, Ave Maria Brennan, an assistant corporation counsel, said in a statement that she felt the court "reached the correct decision."

Thomas R. Frieden, the city's commissioner of health, said in a statement: "The Smoke Free Air Act was enacted to protect workers from the adverse health impact of secondhand smoke, and we are pleased with the Federal District Court's decision upholding its constitutionality."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Agglomeration
April 9th, 2004, 10:17 AM
For those who are curious, here's the NYC Clash website: http://www.nycclash.com/

And here's another big reason why this I still believe this smoking ban is draconian and has nothing to do with health (like I said, these smoking bans are encouraging some health activists to endorse another 18th Amendment): http://www.guardian.co.uk/smoking/Story/0,2763,970519,00.html

Ninjahedge
April 9th, 2004, 04:26 PM
Great messianic propaganda from Mayor Doomberg. Thanks to him, I've stoppped going to bars and clubs and haven't touched a single drop of beer. People have no idea how great I feel after a month of sobriety. It's only a matter of time before he and his supporters turn prohibitionist; I've heard of activists calling for such a thing already.

So you have not drank in a bar since the ban?

That is a bad thing?

You are a smoker?

Do you think this tie smells funny?

Schadenfrau
April 9th, 2004, 04:29 PM
Ninjahedge, you said you were going to settle down. Stick to your word.

Ninjahedge
April 9th, 2004, 04:31 PM
For those who are curious, here's the NYC Clash website: http://www.nycclash.com/

And here's another big reason why this I still believe this smoking ban is draconian and has nothing to do with health (like I said, these smoking bans are encouraging some health activists to endorse another 18th Amendment): http://www.guardian.co.uk/smoking/Story/0,2763,970519,00.html

While I agree that the bans have little to do with health, I think it is odd that anyone has to have a reason to not allow people to stink up a place with a substnce that clings to you and discolors schtuff.

Somehow you can be asked to leave if you do not bathe, but people find smoking acceptable? I have made the analogies to spitting beer in the air (as much as second hand smoke that does not stay in the lungs of the smoker) and playing loud music, both of which have little or no health effects, but you get the typical "that isn't the same".

The same people that argue that smoking bans limits their right to free expression and their right to free travel.

Hypocrites.

Well, whatever.

Agglomeration
April 9th, 2004, 06:58 PM
I'm a non-smoker, but I feel this anti-smoking campaign is getting way out of line. The way I see it these anti-smoking activists are going from encouraging people to quit to pressing for a total ban on ALL tobacco products (even in private homes or even cars) nationwide (and in every state, including both New York and New Jersey), which will clearly overwhelm the War on Drugs as clandestine tobacco farms pop up all over the place. That's what I mean by '18th Amendment'. Don't laugh it off. The Surgeon General isn't the only guy calling for outright tobacco prohibition even in people's homes, enforced by an overstretched DEA.

Ninjahedge
April 12th, 2004, 08:51 AM
I say it should be regulated a bit more.

Sort of like drinking is. Agreed it is not as damaging or deleterious as irresponsible alcohol consumption, but you still see people abusing this "right" all the time.

I always find it odd that you have a right to be irritated by something, something that could give you adverse reaction, but you have little if any right to say anything about it. This is not a case of freedom of religeon, or even the dubious "right to bear arms" here, but some people are starting to try to defend it as such.

Again, I agree that a prohibition of something like this is not exactly fair either. It has not worked for substances like Alcohol during Prohibition, or marajuana now. But we cant start assuming that everyone has a right to do whatever they want without considering the people around them.

When they develop a smokeless cigarette, one that does not look like an asthma inhaler and probably TASE like one, then I will support a smokers right to his or her own personal freedoms, but until then I have to support the ban and hope/vote for more states to do the same.

hopefully we will geta regulation akin to Ireland with this and be done with it.

Schadenfrau
April 12th, 2004, 11:01 AM
I hope the city government stops acting like a meddling nanny and we'll all be done with it.

Ninjahedge
April 12th, 2004, 11:20 AM
I hope the city government stops acting like a meddling nanny and we'll all be done with it.

As much as I agree with the smoking ban, I still agree with that as well.

Did you see the latest about crossing the street on the cell phone? Cops were told to hand out flyers to people to "encourage" them not to.

It also seems odd to me that the new rules are always enforced the most. What is with smokers (cops included) flicking their butts all over the place? One or two is not a major concern, but considering how many are smoked, it adds up!

If you smoke, chuck the butt in a receptical (they provide them almost everywhere). If you smoke in your car, use the tray in your car!

But that is a different topic altogether. :P

Kris
April 27th, 2004, 02:06 AM
April 27, 2004

Of Smoking Bans and Heart Attacks

A six-month ban on smoking in public places and workplaces in Helena, Mont., appears to have sharply reduced the number of heart attacks. For the six months that the ban was in effect in 2002, there were only 24 heart attack admissions for Helena residents at the hospital serving all cardiac patients in the area. That was a 40 percent reduction from the 40 heart attacks recorded for the same six-month period, on average, in the four years before the ban and in the year after it. There was no similar drop for people living outside Helena, where the ban was not in effect.

Helena's smoking ban was halted after a court challenge, but the lessons learned from this brief episode add credence to campaigns to limit secondhand smoke around the globe. While far from a definitive study, it does provide new evidence that inhaling secondhand smoke can cause immediate health problems, not just a long-term risk of disease.

The study gains weight from being published in the prestigious British Medical Journal. In a commentary there, top experts at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that "all patients at increased risk of coronary heart disease or with known coronary artery disease should be advised to avoid all indoor environments that permit smoking." Family members are advised not to smoke in the homes of such patients or in vehicles with them.

Although it may seem surprising that a smoking ban can have such a large impact so quickly, experts at the Centers for Disease Control cite evidence from other studies that small doses of tobacco smoke, like those received from secondhand smoke or from smoking one or two cigarettes a day, can rapidly increase the risk of a heart attack by leading to the formation of blood clots that obstruct blood flow to the heart.

While it remains possible that some factor other than the ban was at work in reducing heart attacks, the Helena experience should certainly encourage the politicians who have been fighting to keep public places free of cigarette smoke.

If the Montana results can be replicated by larger studies elsewhere, the findings could provide a new impetus for bans that could prevent thousands of heart attacks each year around the world.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
April 27th, 2004, 11:04 AM
April 27, 2004

Of Smoking Bans and Heart Attacks

A six-month ban on smoking in public places and workplaces in Helena, Mont., appears to have sharply reduced the number of heart attacks. For the six months that the ban was in effect in 2002, there were only 24 heart attack admissions for Helena residents at the hospital serving all cardiac patients in the area. That was a 40 percent reduction from the 40 heart attacks recorded for the same six-month period, on average, in the four years before the ban and in the year after it. There was no similar drop for people living outside Helena, where the ban was not in effect.

Helena's smoking ban was halted after a court challenge, but the lessons learned from this brief episode add credence to campaigns to limit secondhand smoke around the globe. While far from a definitive study, it does provide new evidence that inhaling secondhand smoke can cause immediate health problems, not just a long-term risk of disease.

The study gains weight from being published in the prestigious British Medical Journal. In a commentary there, top experts at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that "all patients at increased risk of coronary heart disease or with known coronary artery disease should be advised to avoid all indoor environments that permit smoking." Family members are advised not to smoke in the homes of such patients or in vehicles with them.

Although it may seem surprising that a smoking ban can have such a large impact so quickly, experts at the Centers for Disease Control cite evidence from other studies that small doses of tobacco smoke, like those received from secondhand smoke or from smoking one or two cigarettes a day, can rapidly increase the risk of a heart attack by leading to the formation of blood clots that obstruct blood flow to the heart.

While it remains possible that some factor other than the ban was at work in reducing heart attacks, the Helena experience should certainly encourage the politicians who have been fighting to keep public places free of cigarette smoke.

If the Montana results can be replicated by larger studies elsewhere, the findings could provide a new impetus for bans that could prevent thousands of heart attacks each year around the world.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Cough Cough.....

Agglomeration
April 28th, 2004, 10:15 PM
If you thought the anti-smoking zealots were satisfied with bans in bars and restaurants, think again... This is no doubt a march towards a nationwide Prohibition Amendment #2... :evil: A New York State Legislator proposed something similar last year. :oops:

Calif. Bill Would Ban Smoking in Car with Kids

Wed Apr 28, 2:23 PM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California could be on its way to becoming the first U.S. state to outlaw smoking in cars or trucks that have children inside.

A bill is being considered in the state Assembly to allow police to stop vehicles if a minor appears to be exposed to smoke from a pipe, cigar, cigarette, or "any other plant."

The bill has the support of the American Lung Association, which points to research showing secondhand smoke can cause cancer, respiratory infections and asthma.

Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, a Democrat and author of the bill, has referred to a survey by state health officials that found 29 percent of youth in the state had been exposed to secondhand smoke in the prior week.

Opponents say the bill, which last week passed in the Transportation Committee and now heads to the Appropriations Committee, not only encroaches on Constitutional freedoms but demonstrates the intentions of some politicians to eventually ban smoking everywhere in California.

"If the ultimate goal is to ban smoking, then have the courage to come up and say that," said Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy, a Republican in the Democratic-dominated legislative body.

"Show me good science that shows that secondhand smoke is a problem. I don't know that they've proved that," Mountjoy added.

California in 1995 became the first state in the nation to ban smoking in virtually all workplaces, said Paul Knepprath, the vice president of government relations at the American Lung Association of California.

No other state has instituted a sweeping ban on smoking in cars with children present, Knepprath said.

Kris
April 29th, 2004, 08:40 AM
Meet Mayor’s ‘Mind Meld’–Doc Frieden

by Ben Smith

Not long after he compared tobacco executives unfavorably to tuberculosis bacilli, Dr. Thomas Frieden got a letter from a senior vice president at Philip Morris U.S.A.

"To have the New York City Health Commissioner describe any group of human beings as a ‘low-life form’ is especially inappropriate," the executive wrote. "Such statements have been used throughout history to justify the worst kind of bigotry."

Dr. Frieden thought about it. He realized Philip Morris was right.

"Now I stick to, you know, unemotional language," he told The Observer one recent morning in his sunny office. "I describe them as mass murderers."

Dr. Frieden, whom Mayor Michael Bloomberg installed to run the city’s Health Department in 2002, has a license to step on toes. That’s because when it comes to telling New Yorkers about their own best interests, Dr. Frieden serves as Mr. Bloomberg’s uncompromising id, pushing the Mayor to follow his instincts. The intensely private doctor and the bon vivant billionaire agree so fundamentally that one top aide to the Mayor described their relationship as "mind-meld." They share a confidence in their own actions, a sense that—in Mr. Bloomberg’s terms—the most important judgment comes "when I look in the mirror."

That common ground between the two men is also the ethic of public health, to which Mr. Bloomberg has devoted so much of his personal fortune that the nation’s leading public-health school, at Johns Hopkins University, was recently renamed for him. Public health lacks the glamour of other areas of medicine and philanthropy; it is defined by a bird’s-eye view of society and a scorn for conventional wisdom and political necessity.

Those who take up the field of public health are not always appreciated at the ground level, noted Alfred Sommer, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. "The people they’re helping may not know it and, in fact, may even be irate," he said of his peers in public health.

There is, of course, another way of looking at the public-health mentality, and seeing in it the autocratic tradition of the temperance leagues and worse. That’s how many bar owners see it.

"Frieden acts as if he’s been appointed by God to save the world from secondhand smoke," complained Brian Nolan, who heads the United Restaurant and Tavern Owners of New York. Dr. Frieden was the architect of the city’s 2002 bill banning smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants, which has been generally popular despite bitter complaints from smokers, libertarians and bar owners.

Love him or hate him, Dr. Frieden is a rare visionary in an administration made up largely of skilled technocrats. A 43-year- old whose soft, sonorous voice contributes to the impression that he’s 10 years younger, he writes his day’s tasks in a tiny doctor’s scrawl on folded index cards. When he hands over the Health Department to his successor at some future date, he may have changed the city more deeply than any other member of an administration that will be remembered, in large part, for his hard line on smoking.

But before he became the scourge of the tobacco industry, Dr. Frieden made his name convincing sick people to take their medicine. His method was a system called "directly observed treatment," a classic of public-health methodology whose hands-on paternalism and life-saving potency has made it the global standard for fighting tuberculosis.

Dr. Frieden began using the methods soon after he arrived in New York in 1990 as a young staffer from the Centers for Disease Control. One doctor at Harlem Hospital, Karen Brudney, had been raising the alarm about an epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

"Tom came to New York to do something else, and he immediately recognized that TB was a hideous problem," recalled Dr. Brudney, now the director of Columbia Presbyterian’s Infectious Diseases Clinic.

Dr. Frieden was made assistant health commissioner responsible for TB control in 1992. He led a program so ambitious that it sent outreach workers into crack dens to give patients their medicine, and so insistent that a handful of patients were confined to a "TB jail," a locked ward on Roosevelt Island, until they were cured. Dr. Frieden’s uncompromising style bruised some egos, but his program beat the epidemic, and he became one of the world’s experts on combating tuberculosis. In 1996, he moved to New Delhi, India, to lead a World Health Organization program combating a TB epidemic there. Dr. Frieden said that local doctors had come to see the problem "just like the weather: You can describe it, maybe predict it, but you can’t do anything about it."

The India program saved, by his estimate, half a million lives.

After the New York and India projects—along with regular publications in journals like the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet—Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health tried to lure Dr. Frieden back to New York for a professorship. But Dr. Frieden and his wife had already sold their apartment on East Fifth Street and had no plans to return.

So he was in his office in New Delhi when an e-mail from Dr. Sommer arrived regarding a job in the Bloomberg administration. When he talked to the Johns Hopkins dean on the telephone, Dr. Frieden made one thing clear: "I told them if the Mayor is willing to take on the tobacco industry I’ll come back, but if he’s not there’s no point."

This came as something of a surprise to Dr. Sommer. "Tom, did you hear about 9/11?" he thought to ask. "Your top priority isn’t going to be bioterror?" But Dr. Frieden told him that tobacco would "kill more people than bioterror ever will," Dr. Sommer recalled.

Dr. Frieden prides himself on relying on hard data, and smoking is far and away the leading cause of preventable deaths in the city, associated with 10,000 deaths in New York each year. After wowing a search committee with the fluent Spanish he picked up during stints in Nicaragua in the 1980’s, Dr. Frieden soon sat down with the Mayor-elect.

"He and the Mayor had a mind-meld" on smoking, said Peter Madonia, Mr. Bloomberg’s chief of staff. "Tom laid out why it was an important health initiative, and the Mayor at that point was on board, agreed, and has never wavered."

That put New York’s retail tobacco industry in much the situation Saddam Hussein found himself in when his bitterest enemies entered the Pentagon in 2001: The ax hadn’t fallen yet, but it was just a matter of time. Since then, Dr. Frieden has overseen a tax hike on cigarettes (stopping 50,000 premature deaths, by his count) and a massive distribution of smoking-cessation patches (11,000 people quit, forestalling 1,700 premature deaths) along with the smoking ban (another 11,000 premature deaths).

Outspoken Critic

What exactly does Dr. Frieden think should be done about tobacco? Asked if it should be legal to sell cigarettes at all, he said, "No," then demurred: "I don’t think making cigarettes illegal is within the realm of possibility or practicality."

Anyway, Dr. Frieden is open to compromise. "You know, if [cigarettes] were nicotine-free … and there were no advertising for them, then it’s a free choice," he mused. But the status quo of massive tobacco-marketing budgets is "legal drug-pushing, and that shouldn’t be legal."

If the government can’t outlaw cigarettes entirely, Dr. Frieden added, he recently heard another "interesting idea: that the tobacco companies essentially be nationalized, all advertising be stopped, and cigarettes be provided to the people who are addicted and can’t get off."

It’s enough to give a tobacco executive, even a nonsmoking one, heart failure. And more diplomatic city officials—or those on tighter leashes—might eschew such speculation. But it’s a sign of Dr. Frieden’s influence and Mr. Bloomberg’s hands-off style that the commissioner says exactly what he likes. ("I don’t even try to control him. I just let him say what he thinks," interjected his spokeswoman, Sandra Mullin, at one point during an interview in his office.)

The thing is, Dr. Frieden’s not trying to make headlines. His smooth, triangular face looked a little pained as he shared his views on smoking. He also seemed puzzled as to why other govern-by-numbers, politics-be-damned initiatives—from saving money by eliminating school nurses to pushing for a needle-exchange program in conservative Queens—have generated such a fuss. Much of the rest of his work has been impolitic in its mildness. Dr. Frieden has been unwilling to launch an expansive crusade against the current hot disease, obesity, for the simple reason that the data won’t support one, he says.

"The sad fact today is that we know that we’re in the midst of a horrible obesity problem, and we don’t know what’s causing it, and we don’t know what to do about it," he said. Of course, a lack of randomized, controlled studies hasn’t stopped health officials around the country from declaring bold initiatives against obesity in high-profile press conferences.

But it’s his war on smoking for which New Yorkers will judge Dr. Frieden. And he takes solace in the career of an illustrious forgotten predecessor, Hermann Biggs, who built the city’s Health Department at the end of the 19th century. Biggs was a crusader against tuberculosis, and he outlined a program not unlike the therapy that is now standard. His demands for centralization and disclosure made him enemies in the medical establishment, who denounced the "aggressive tyrannies of the Health Board," according to an article on Biggs which Dr. Frieden published in The Lancet. When criticized for the smoking ban or other, smaller controversies, Dr. Frieden can take solace in the notion that history may judge him as it has Biggs.

"Nobody ever had a rally on the City Hall steps to promote the general good," he said. "In some ways, public health is inherently unpopular."

You may reach Ben Smith via email at: bensmith@observer.com.

This column ran on page 1 in the 5/3/2004 edition of The New York Observer.

Ninjahedge
April 29th, 2004, 04:57 PM
If you thought the anti-smoking zealots were satisfied with bans in bars and restaurants, think again... This is no doubt a march towards a nationwide Prohibition Amendment #2... :evil: A New York State Legislator proposed something similar last year. :oops:

Calif. Bill Would Ban Smoking in Car with Kids

Wed Apr 28, 2:23 PM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California could be on its way to becoming the first U.S. state to outlaw smoking in cars or trucks that have children inside.

A bill is being considered in the state Assembly to allow police to stop vehicles if a minor appears to be exposed to smoke from a pipe, cigar, cigarette, or "any other plant."

The bill has the support of the American Lung Association, which points to research showing secondhand smoke can cause cancer, respiratory infections and asthma.

Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, a Democrat and author of the bill, has referred to a survey by state health officials that found 29 percent of youth in the state had been exposed to secondhand smoke in the prior week.

Opponents say the bill, which last week passed in the Transportation Committee and now heads to the Appropriations Committee, not only encroaches on Constitutional freedoms but demonstrates the intentions of some politicians to eventually ban smoking everywhere in California.

"If the ultimate goal is to ban smoking, then have the courage to come up and say that," said Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy, a Republican in the Democratic-dominated legislative body.

"Show me good science that shows that secondhand smoke is a problem. I don't know that they've proved that," Mountjoy added.

California in 1995 became the first state in the nation to ban smoking in virtually all workplaces, said Paul Knepprath, the vice president of government relations at the American Lung Association of California.

No other state has instituted a sweeping ban on smoking in cars with children present, Knepprath said.

OK, I like the smoking ban, but this is stupid.

Let them concentrate on enforcing some of the rules that are already there, like no butt-flicking, and leave it at that.

First no pr0n in the car, now no SMOKING?

next thing you know there will be no drinking or hankey pankey allowed in the car!!!!

Kris
May 12th, 2004, 02:28 AM
May 12, 2004

A City of Quitters? In Strict New York, 11% Fewer Smokers

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

In the wake of huge tobacco tax increases and a ban on smoking in bars, the number of adult smokers in New York City fell 11 percent from 2002 to 2003, one of the steepest short-term declines ever measured, according to surveys commissioned by the city.

The surveys, to be released today, show that after holding steady for a decade, the number of regular smokers dropped more than 100,000 in a little more than a year, to 19.3 percent of adults from 21.6 percent. The decline occurred across all boroughs, ages and ethnic groups.

The surveys also found a 13 percent decline in cigarette consumption, suggesting that smokers who did not quit were smoking less. Like similar local and national polls, the surveys counted as smokers all people who said that they had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lives and that they now smoked every day or "some days."

City health officials and opponents of smoking said they believed that the decline was caused primarily by sharply higher tobacco taxes that went into effect in 2002, including an increase to $1.50 from 8 cents a pack in New York City.

The drop also coincided with a new city law banning smoking in bars, a new state law prohibiting it in restaurants and bars, and the Bloomberg administration's aggressive anti-smoking campaign, which has included advertising and the distribution of free nicotine patches to thousands of people.

"From what we've seen, we believe New York City experienced the steepest decline anywhere in one year," said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city health commissioner.

Spokesmen for the largest cigarette makers said the higher taxes had certainly pushed down sales. They also said they did not know how much consumption had actually declined because they could not account for factors like smuggling to evade taxes and increased sales of lesser-known brands from smaller manufacturers.

"You have some people just saying, `I'm not going to pay that much' and quitting, but I seriously doubt" the figure of 11 percent, said John W. Singleton, a spokesman for the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

Brendan McCormick, a spokesman for Philip Morris USA, said he had no reason to confirm or rebut the city's figures.

City officials said they expected skepticism from critics who will call the survey numbers an attempt by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's administration to validate his anti-tobacco policies, just as some people disputed the administration's reports showing no loss of business in bars after smoking was outlawed there.

"I take a pessimistic view of their figures because I suspect they're geared to supporting their agenda, but in this case, I'm sure we all hope that their stats are correct and less people are smoking," said Councilman Tony Avella of Queens, who has clashed with the mayor on tobacco control policies.

Administration officials said that the 2002 and 2003 telephone surveys were conducted for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene by Baruch College researchers using identical methods and that the random dialing approach and questions were the same as those used in annual surveys by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also point out that the city polls used very large samples, 10,000 people each time, which pollsters say makes the results more authoritative. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 1 percentage point, officials said.

Other evidence also suggests a sharp drop in smoking, including lower city and state tobacco tax revenue, sales of products like nicotine patches and gum, and anecdotal reports of greater enrollment in smoking cessation programs.

"New York did the perfect trifecta that no one has attempted before — raising taxes very steeply, making it harder to smoke indoors, and promoting cessation, so you would expect a dramatic result," said Dr. Steven A. Schroeder, a professor of health and health care at the University of California at San Francisco and a former president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which finances health care research. "Most cities and states aren't doing much of anything."

Legislation to raise the minimum legal age for smoking to 19 from 18 in New York State has been proposed. Yesterday, when asked about the proposal, Mr. Bloomberg said: "I certainly would not be opposed to raising the age. You know, I've done what I think I can to discourage smoking in the city."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, adult smoking nationwide declined steadily from the first surgeon general's warning in the 1960's to the early 1990's, then held steady, though it continued to decline among teenagers. Annual federal surveys by the Centers for Disease Control show the adult rate, both nationally and in New York State, steady at about 23 percent for several years, through 2002, the most recent year for which numbers are available.

For a decade, surveys showed the rate in the city almost unchanged. The most recent surveys show greater declines among people who federal and city statistics indicate are less able to afford higher prices: the youngest adults, Bronx residents, women, and blacks and Hispanics.

"This city survey shows what can happen if you attack it really hard," said Russell Sciandra, director of the Center for a Tobacco-Free New York, an advocacy group. "It is not at all surprising. This is what we said all along would happen if you sharply raised the cost of smoking."

New York State raised its tax on cigarettes from 56 cents a pack to $1.11 in March 2000, and on April 1, 2002, lifted it to $1.50, one of the highest tobacco taxes in the country. New York City raised its tax on July 1, 2002, from 8 cents to $1.50, by far the highest local levy in the country. The federal tax rose to 34 cents from 24 cents in January 2000, and to 39 cents on Jan. 1, 2002.

So the combined city, state and federal levies on a pack stood at 88 cents at the end of 1999, $1.53 at the end of 2001, and $3.39 by mid-2002.

A new city law took effect on April 1, 2003, prohibiting smoking in bars and eliminating limited exceptions to the previous ban on smoking in restaurants. A statewide ban in restaurants and bars took effect on July 24.

The city conducted its 2002 survey from May to July, and the 2003 canvass from April to November.

In 2002 and 2003, taxed cigarette sales declined about 25 percent statewide and about 40 percent in the city, according to government officials. Some of that drop reflects increased efforts to evade higher taxes, like Internet sales and bootlegging. In the city today, a name-brand pack of 20 cigarettes typically retails for $7 to $8, but nontaxed packs smuggled into the city can be bought illegally on many street corners for about $5.

Health researchers, economists and cigarette makers agree that some of the fall in tax revenue represents a real decline in consumption, but they disagree on the extent. Studies have shown that a 10 percent increase in the cost of cigarettes produces about a 4 percent drop in use.

"New York City is almost a laboratory experiment in what happens when prices get so high people just refuse to pay it," said Mr. Singleton, of R. J. Reynolds. "There's a real economic incentive here for people to break the law."

In 2002, drugstore sales of antismoking products — mostly nicotine patches and gum — rose 3.3 percent nationally and 9.7 percent in New York State, according to Information Resources Inc., a company that tracks drug sales. In 2003, as the products' prices rose, sales dropped 8.7 percent nationally. Sales fell less sharply in New York, by 7.5 percent, or about 50,000 units, but those figures do not include the 35,000 nicotine patch kits the city sent to smokers free last year.

Health researchers say that smoking cuts short the lives of about one-third of long-term smokers, by an average of about 14 years. Dr. Frieden, the city health commissioner, said reducing the smoking population by 100,000 people, if the change is permanent, "means that there will be at least 30,000 fewer premature deaths."

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/05/12/nyregion/smoke.gif

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
May 14th, 2004, 04:18 AM
Smokers Quitting (http://gothamgazette.com/article/health/20040514/9/979)

Schadenfrau
May 14th, 2004, 12:48 PM
All of this stuff reads suspiciously like a press release.

Ninjahedge
May 14th, 2004, 02:40 PM
I hope it is substantiated and not just a "migration" of smokers to NJ.....

I guess we will peobably see more of a cause and effect in the years to come, but probably moreso in places like Ireland....

Agglomeration
May 14th, 2004, 09:18 PM
All of this stuff reads suspiciously like a press release.

What can I say? It is a press release by the city government, and the papers reported on that. I'm presuming that patrons are also heading to bars and other places in Connecticut , despite its own smoking ban. Even if Bloomberg's report can be backed up, it doesn't change my desire to help vote him out of office in 2005.

Anyway, I predict that tobacco prohibitionists (they want all tobacco products declared an illicit narcotic, and criminalize its use even at home) will be seizing on this study to press their agenda nationwide :oops: . It's only a matter of time.

Kris
May 17th, 2004, 06:23 AM
May 17, 2004

Kicking the Habit in New York

Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a lot of ridicule for his crusade against smoking, but now it looks as if he will have the last and best laugh. After a decade of only limited progress, New York City has just recorded an 11 percent decline in the number of adults who smoke, in little more than a year.

This significant drop was revealed in the results of the city's well-regarded annual community health survey. While the survey did not pinpoint exactly what caused smoking to decline, logic suggests a combination of factors. The most important was almost certainly a big increase in the taxes imposed on cigarettes. New York City raised its own cigarette tax in mid-2002 from 8 cents a pack to $1.50 a pack, and both state and federal taxes increased as well in recent years, driving the total tax on cigarettes to $3.39 by mid-2002. A brand-name pack now retails for $7 to $8 in the city, too expensive for many poor people or teenagers to afford.

Other factors may have included a new city law against smoking in bars (so new its impact may have been limited), vigorous public education campaigns, and provision of free nicotine patches and counseling to some 35,000 New Yorkers who wanted to quit smoking, of whom 11,000 succeeded.

All this shows how effective vigorous government action can be in breaking a harmful addiction. That makes it all the more frustrating that so many state and local governments — lured by the possibilities of revenue from slot machines, lotteries and casinos — are doing everything they can to make addictive gambling more convenient and irresistible.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Schadenfrau
May 17th, 2004, 11:43 AM
Since when does my sixth-grade teacher write for the New York Times?

Agglomeration
May 17th, 2004, 01:38 PM
I expect that in the future smoking will become a one-time social thing; generally people will start lighting up wherever they can in their early to mid-20's, then people will become tired of the habit and start quitting in their late 30's and 40's. It's become increasingly easy for people to quit the habit nowadays, and since I've never heard of any instance of people dying of lung cancer and other disorders in their 20's and 30's, people have plenty of time.

It's the diehard smokers in their 60's and 70's that's the main health problem. And no, my revulsion of Bloomberg hasn't changed.

Just for the record, since the smoking ban on bars was imposed, I've almost totally given up drinking. I consider alcohol to be just as bad as tobacco; at least cigarettes don't give you a beer belly or get you arrested for DWI.

ZippyTheChimp
May 18th, 2004, 01:09 AM
and since I've never heard of any instance of people dying of lung cancer and other disorders in their 20's and 30's, people have plenty of time.

It's the diehard smokers in their 60's and 70's that's the main health problem.
Are you making this up?

Ninjahedge
May 19th, 2004, 04:40 PM
I think he is joking.

Agg, when do you think these problems develop? Before they start smoking? :roll:

ZippyTheChimp
May 19th, 2004, 06:16 PM
I don't think so. It fits in with the "logic" of the entire post.

Yeah, smoke 20 or 25 years, and tell about all about how easy it is to quit.

BigMac
May 21st, 2004, 10:05 AM
New York Daily News
May 21, 2004

Smoke-free N.Y.C. a clear winner

By DAVID SALTONSTALL

New York City - clean-air capital?

It is now, at least when it comes to bars and restaurants.

A new study released yesterday found that of seven major cities, breathing is easiest in New York's smoke-free bars and restaurants. In fact, air quality in New York establishments was a whopping 15 times cleaner than joints in Washington, which ranked last on the list.

"The bottom line is that cities that implement comprehensive smoke-free laws quickly and effectively protect the health of both their employees and patrons," said Bill Corr, executive director of Campaign for Smoke-Free Kids, which conducted the survey.

The study - the largest ever of its kind - looked at three cities with strict workplace smoking bans: New York, upstate Buffalo and Los Angeles.

It also looked at four cities where smoking is still allowed in restaurants and bars: Philadelphia, Baltimore, Hoboken, N.J., and Washington.

Testers prowled through at least seven establishments in each city on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, armed with a high-tech aerosol monitor that measures pollution in micrograms per cubic meter.

The result? Establishments in cities with smoke-free laws had average pollution levels 82% lower than cities that don't.

The nation's capital was by far the worst, with 392 micrograms of pollution per cubic meter compared with New York's average of 25 micrograms.

Researchers said the study offered clear evidence that bars that allow smoking are unhealthy - for both smokers and nonsmokers.

"It isn't a secret that second-hand smoke is bad for you," said Dr. Fred Jacobs, chairman of the Medical Society of New Jersey's Council on Public Health. "Even the tobacco companies don't argue about that anymore."

The study was greeted like a breath of fresh air by Mayor Bloomberg, who pushed through the city's ban on smoking in April last year despite stiff opposition from many bar owners.

"If you want to smoke - smoke. You can smoke outside. It's not forcing anybody else to smoke," Bloomberg told reporters. "If you smoke inside, you are. I'm just glad that the air is clean."

Copyright 2004 Daily News, L.P.

Schadenfrau
May 21st, 2004, 11:26 AM
By that logic, people shouldn't drive cars because they force me to breathe their exhaust. They should just run them inside their own garages.

ZippyTheChimp
May 21st, 2004, 11:48 AM
Right...

Except that the internal combustion engine, despite it's pollution, cannot easily be removed from the economy.

Cigarettes, on the other hand...

NYatKNIGHT
May 21st, 2004, 11:57 AM
If I had to make a choice I'd rather work in a bar with cigarette smoke than a toll booth with engine exhaust.

Schadenfrau
May 21st, 2004, 12:56 PM
Agreed.

Also, there's no way cigarettes could easily be removed from the economy. The loss of revenue would have a tremendous impact, and you'd think that even the most vehement anti-smokers would admit that.

ZippyTheChimp
May 21st, 2004, 01:30 PM
I'm sure the horse-shodding industry once made the same argument.
The tobacco industry is aware of the inevitable, and marketing focus has switched to the fertile southeast Asia.

Beer is usually delivered by truck, but the beer will still get delivered if the driver doesn't smoke.

Ninjahedge
May 21st, 2004, 02:31 PM
Agreed.

Also, there's no way cigarettes could easily be removed from the economy. The loss of revenue would have a tremendous impact, and you'd think that even the most vehement anti-smokers would admit that.

um, no we wouldn't... ;)



There would be very few people effected by a total stoppage of smoking. Somehow all the arguements keep coming in.

Ironically, I think the ones that would be effected the most would be the Tobacco companies AND the governments who tax them.

that is about it.

As for car exhaust, you don't have a cars tailpipe inside the buidling with you. Also, the occurance of things like Tollbooths are much less than the occurances of bars and restaurants.

Finally, who says that car emmisions are a good thing? We do need cars for a lot of things, and elimination of them would effect things MUCH more than the elimination of ciggs.

Why don't we make car emmission standards more strict, oops, we are.

If toll booths are so bad, why don't we eliminate them? We don't exactly NEED someone taking tolls to let us cross the bridge you know....

ZippyTheChimp
May 21st, 2004, 05:02 PM
I was pointing out that the analogy is faulty, but there are worse things in the environment than smoke in bars. Alcohol, as a "second-hand" problem is right up there. Lots of people who don't drink are forced to suffer its effects.

If you think I'm all over the place on this issue - my directive as moderator is to stimulate the conversation. :roll:

Agglomeration
May 24th, 2004, 09:25 PM
Bloomberg's attitude strikes me of a Victorian-style disciplinarian telling people how to behave and how not to behave. That's basically how he operates, not just concerning smoking. I could give a million examples of his nanny-state mentality, but I prefer not to. Bars, restaurants, and pool halls often keep people under 18 out, thus they're different from offices, retail places, and mass transit systems, which operate mostly in the daytime, and also prohibit eating and drinking. Many restaurants prohibited smoking even before Bloomberg came along, so why did he even bother.

Also, Bloomberg's ban on bars and restaurants set loose a chain reaction of other smoking bans in other places, and now we're hearing of activists and health officials calling for tobacco to be banned altogether, nationwide. I know it's been said before, but I doubt that there would be any talk of prohibition if not for this unnecessary law. Richard Carmona's call to ban all tobacco was the first. Recently the British magazine the Lancet said the same thing, they now want tobacco posession made into a crime all over the UK. I doubt these two will be the last to call for a prohibitionist agenda. As Sebastian the crab once said, "You give them an inch, they swim all over you."

And yes, smoke-easies have begun to appear in the city: although I'm not a smoker, I have friends who do, and I don't mind them. For security reasons I'm not saying where they're going to indulge their habit.

Ninjahedge
May 27th, 2004, 02:54 PM
That is not exactly a fair assessment agglom.

you are saying that NY and Bloom precipitated the feelings that other people have against smoking?

That somehow Bloom is responsible for Ireland banning smoking?

I don't think prohibition of this stuff is the answer, but making it something you have to keep seperate from others when they do not want to participate is fair.

If you want to drink but not stink of smoke, you have a right to say something about it. If you want to smoke and you don't mind the stink, fine, but there should be a place for that.

maybe smoking institutions like the turkish smoking bar (what do they call them?). Only restriction, you can't drink... ;)

Smoke where you want to, drink where you want to, but don't force others to endure your vice when they are trying to enjoy their own... ;)

Schadenfrau
May 27th, 2004, 03:12 PM
Who is Bloom?

Ninjahedge
May 27th, 2004, 03:21 PM
He's that guy that hangs out with Opus and Bill.

HaroldJoyce
May 30th, 2004, 12:10 AM
I've been the GM of a nightclub in Manhattan for the last couple of years and all I can say is this: the ban is cripling. I now work with a liquor company called Zygo from New York, and I'm all over the city. I see the change everywhere. The bars are never as packed, everyone stands around outside, they buy fewer drinks, and it's just easier to stay home than being told what to do when you are out.

Agglomeration
May 30th, 2004, 02:30 AM
Obviously the smoking ban hasn't destroyed NYC's nightlife utterly, but the city's night establishments haven't been filling up with "hordes of nonsmokers" either, as Mike Bloomberg predicted. From experience I'd say Manhattan isn't doing too badly (after all it's always been famous for its huge crowds), but in the outer boroughs they're not doing as well.

And like I said, If Bloomberg (and his health secretary Friedman) thought it was constitutionally legal to ban all tobacco products in the city and make its possession a crime, he'd probably impose such a total ban in a flash. I really don't think it's a coincidence that we began hearing calls for nationwide tobacco prohibition a couple of months after this current ban.

Ninjahedge
June 1st, 2004, 12:05 PM
I don't think he would Agglom.

you are putting your own feelings into this now.

Although Bloom probably does not like smoking at all, and there might be some out there taht would jump at the chance for a Tobacco prohibition, I do not take Bloom to be a dumb man.

He sees what happaned with Alcohol and he will not do the same with Tobacco.

Regulation is what works with these things, not forbiddance. Look how sucessful we have been with weed. Since we have banned it I see more and more people sneaking it left and right on the streets and in other areas.

I am just wondering if and when the surrounding states will do the same...

Schadenfrau
June 1st, 2004, 12:59 PM
Please call Michael Bloomberg by his given name. It is not "Bloom" or "Xdajfhas" or anything else you might come up with.

Bloomberg.

krulltime
June 1st, 2004, 01:07 PM
"Xdajfhas"

Why would someone called him that?

Schadenfrau
June 1st, 2004, 01:40 PM
I have no idea. It makes about as much sense as referring to him as "Bloom".

Ninjahedge
June 1st, 2004, 02:52 PM
I have no idea. It makes about as much sense as referring to him as "Bloom".

OK Schad.

Agglomeration
June 1st, 2004, 07:34 PM
Ninjahedge, I'll try not to sound offensive, but from what I've read, you're a New Jerseyan living in a state with no statewide smoking ban (and clearly resentful of it), so I wouldn't be surprised if you wanted Bloomberg and Friedman to press for a similar ban across the Hudson River. Am I correct?

Ninjahedge
June 2nd, 2004, 11:21 AM
I would not want a NY official to do anything in NJ Agglom.

But I would prefer the bars and restaurants in NJ to do the same. I would have liked if they did it to start with. I am not looking for anyone to follow suit.

I think most of the arguments made by the pro-smoking coilition have been weak in the "defense" of an intrusive and invasive vice and I am just waiting for things to settle down.

It is odd that with a thing like Asbestos, proven to increase your CHANCES of getting cancer, lawsuits are filed, settlements reached and any time it is found anywhere it is either sealed up or cleaned by a bio-hazard group, but somehow smoking is not treated anywhere the same way.

There are differences in percentages, agreed, but it has been proven that, at the very least, second hand smoke is not HEALTHY, but yet since it is an addictive habit that has been around for such a long time and has such a strong financial hold on both the smokers and the politicians in many areas, the non-smokers are forced to put up with it.

Now that the MAJORITY rules and is saying to ban it, Smokers are coming out and saying "no fair".

Until they come out with a smokeless ciggie that smokers will use, it is not fair to subject other people to their vice, no matter what way you look at it.

If you want a change, go look to enact policies to have tobacco bars where you can smoke all you want. Just not drink.

Oh, I'm sorry, you want both. You can do that at home you know.

And that brings us to the last arguement, if you don't like it, you don't have to go out..... Wasn't that said about people who did not like smoking before the ban?

Bottom line is this. It is a good thing. Some bars have felt a small decrease in sales because of this, but that is because they have not gotten a new following as of yet. It takes a few years to do this, and some will not recover fully. But others have, and some have increased.

The main focus for the ban was BS (workplace safety), but LEGALLY it was a solid arguement. Sometimes common sense needs to use BS to be enacted into law... :P

Agglomeration
June 2nd, 2004, 11:21 PM
Well Ninjahedge, when it comes to health officials using and abusing political power, things are not settling down; in fact, they're speeding up. Just the other day Richard Carmona said that tobacco had been linked to a million other disorders I'm not gonna mention here. I consider it a clear sign that Carmona and his supprters are leaning towards outright prohibition even at home. I predict that he will call for total bans nationwide sooner or later. That means a total tobacco ban in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, everywhere. I for one have deep respect for people who decide to quit bad habits such as tobacco, but when it comes to strict bans in night establishments that encourage a chain reaction, a line has to be drawn.

One more thing. Mr Friedman is showing signs of declaring war on the eating of meat and snacks and such, in the name of fighting obesity, as you've read in a previous article. Some experts now say that obesity has already overtaken smoking as the biggest cause of death. I never thought that these health officials would stop with smoking bans in restaurants and bars, did I?

I really do think it's only a matter of time before he calls for alcohol consumption to be restricted. I no longer drink alcohol, and I consider it just as bad as tobacco. Tragically, Friedman and Carmona are not unique in their political zealotry.

Ninjahedge
June 3rd, 2004, 10:15 AM
But to get these things passed, the "radicals" need mainstream support.

If they try to restrict things such as Red Meat and Alcohol consumption, they will meet with heavy resistance since they are now alienating the majority.

People who agree with each other on some things do not have to agree with each other on everything.

Schadenfrau
June 3rd, 2004, 11:13 AM
You seem to be under the impression that the smoking ban was the result of a public vote.

Ninjahedge
June 3rd, 2004, 12:13 PM
You seem to be under the impression that if it was that it would not have passed.

Agglomeration
June 3rd, 2004, 12:56 PM
Perhaps Bloomberg was wise enough not to take his smoking ban to beaches, cars, and rooftops. If that were to happen he would have alienated a lot more people than he already has. (I know quite a few bar owners and bartenders who still despise him after over a year) Health officials like Friedman and Carmona have no such reservations though (physicians IMO care not about nightlife and indulgence), and that worries me a lot.

So anyway, Ninjahedge, No one doubts that you want a similar ban for the state of New Jersey. Is it because of all those New Yorkers (smokers and non-smokers alike) who are jumping over the Hudson to indulge? Tell me honestly.

Ninjahedge
June 3rd, 2004, 01:14 PM
Not really, there was a surge in the first month or two, but after that things went back to normal.

People will not go out of their way to smoke. (well, not that FAR out of the way, you know?)

As for the beaches, I don't know where you are coming from, but most of the beaches I jave known do not allow smoking (noone wants the life-sized ash tray that would ensue).

That is not because of the smoke, but mostly the butts.

Agglomeration
June 3rd, 2004, 01:27 PM
Even though I'm a non-smoker, I have no problem with those who smoke around me.

So then Ninja, what would you say publicly if the US Congress passed a federal law banning all tobacco products, shutting down all tobacco companies, making smoking illegal everywhere in virtually every state, including both New York and New Jersey, and cracking down on smoke-easies? You know, an extensive new Drug War begins?

The way I see it, an increasing number of activists and health officials want that to happen sooner rather than later. This, more than anything else, is the problem I have with New York's smoking ban, it's clearly encouraged the anti-smoking movement nationwide to become more aggressive and to press towards outright prohibition.

Ninjahedge, if you're intent on joining a campaign to try to push through a similar smoking ban in all of NJ, then be my guest. I won't stop you.

BrooklynRider
June 3rd, 2004, 01:44 PM
I seriously doubt tobacco products will ever be banned, but it is hard to come up with a strong argument as to why the ban on smoking in defined places should be rescinded.

This mayor has a solid track record on public health issues. This action is right in line with it. The "right to smoke" does exist, but perhaps those who exercise that right should waive their health insurance or their right to on demand services at city hospitals. The best thing that ever happened to smokers was this ban, for their own good.

What could possibly be an argument against the encouragement of the anti-smoking movement?

Ninjahedge
June 3rd, 2004, 04:49 PM
Even though I'm a non-smoker, I have no problem with those who smoke around me.

So then Ninja, what would you say publicly if the US Congress passed a federal law banning all tobacco products, shutting down all tobacco companies, making smoking illegal everywhere in virtually every state, including both New York and New Jersey, and cracking down on smoke-easies? You know, an extensive new Drug War begins?

The way I see it, an increasing number of activists and health officials want that to happen sooner rather than later. This, more than anything else, is the problem I have with New York's smoking ban, it's clearly encouraged the anti-smoking movement nationwide to become more aggressive and to press towards outright prohibition.

Ninjahedge, if you're intent on joining a campaign to try to push through a similar smoking ban in all of NJ, then be my guest. I won't stop you.

Why do you keep taking my dislike of smoking in places like Bars and Restaurants and translating that into an absolute prohibition of Tobacco in general?

You are exaggerating my stance, like I said before, just because I believe in MY RIGHT not to have smoke in some of the places I go for something else (meaning food, work or alcohol) does NOT mean I am in favor of absolute illigalization of the substance in general.

As the push goes further, the ones that ARE in support of that will get less and less support from the general public. If they are smart, they will not push the pendulum too far to one side for risk of it swinging back the whole way and destroying most of what they have worked for.

That is where the moderates come in. I myself would not mind a nationwide ban on smoking in bars and public establishments, but I am not advocation the banning of it in general. AAMOF, there are some substances that I would probably say should also be made legal seeing the inherent futility of banning them outright from any consumption public or private.

I also find it odd that you keep grouping health officials and activists together in the same boat. That somehow by grouping the former with the latter it makes their opinions less valid.

If your doctor says doing something is unhealthy, you have the choice to do it or not. But if he says that something someone else does is unhealthy to you, you have a right to take it to them, or the government in charge in the interest of public health and safety.

Well, whatever. No matter how much I say on this you will keep yelling that all the bars in manhattan are going belly up and that bar owners everywhere will be coming the streets like an angry mob causing violence to go up as they teem with smokers everywhere to fight the government and take what is theirs. that somehow restricting them in Bars will lead to an outright prohibition and that anyone that is in favor of one is in favor of the other.

The key to my discussion is not to convince you anymore, but to make sure both sides are heard whenever you post yours... ;)

krulltime
June 4th, 2004, 12:37 AM
SMOKE BAN HITS 'HOODS

By DAVID RABIN
June 3, 2004

The City Council has granted development rights to 16 sites in Soho and Noho, provided that no liquor licenses of any kind — not even restaurants — be granted in those new buildings.

Meanwhile, Manhattan Community Board 3 has declared a moratorium on the consideration of all liquor licenses within its borders. That's only advisory — but it sends quite a message to local politicians and to the State Liquor Authority. Similarly, residents of St. Mark's Place (that quiet, suburban oasis) have threatened to sue the SLA to halt the granting of any further licenses on their block.

Every single article on these developments mentions one thing — the increase in street noise since the passage of the smoking ban.

The exact same conversation goes on at Community Boards 2, 5 and others. New applicants in residential areas are grilled mercilessly: What time do you plan to close? What are you going to do with your smokers?
And the answer is . . . "Nothing." It has to be — because there is nothing we bar owners can do under the current law, except put our smokers out in the street and hope not to stir up justifiable community resentment and even noise tickets, or let them smoke inside and risk summonses that could put us out of business.

All our residential neighbors want is a good night's sleep. It's hard to fault them for not seeing the future and the multiplier effect on the city economy if restaurants and bars are phased out of many neighborhoods.

The only real answer is to get the smokers back inside the bars, where they belong. The Meier/Destito bill pending in the state Legislature does so in a way that should answer all factions in a satisfactory manner.

In a nutshell, if food revenues are less than 40 percent of a bar, tavern or club's business, and it's willing to install the same kind state-of-the-art air filtration equipment that's used in hospital infectious-disease wards (which can make the air in the bar far cleaner than that in the street), it would be allowed to permit smoking once again.

If that bill carries in Albany, we'd still have to work to change the New York City Smoke Free Air Act. But it would be a start.

We're not talking about family restaurants or fine dining establishments.
Even though the city Health Department and smoking-ban supporters desperately try to treat restaurants and bars as one, we're only talking about bars, taverns and clubs. That's where the economic damage of the ban has been done. Those are the places that stay open late enough to be forced to keep their neighbors awake by obeying the law and putting their smokers outside.

If, as government officials allege, business has improved so much since the ban, why would any operators even bother to install the technology? The supposedly improved market should lead them to stay "smoke free."

No organization supporting changes to the smoking ban is pro-tobacco. None of us doubts the dangers of being a smoker. But the real issue is the cloudy one of second-hand smoke — and the answer is filtration.

Summer is upon us; the social scene will once again shift outside to the sidewalks in front of our bars. The Legislatlure should pass this bill, which takes the employee health issue out of the equation and gives operators and customers a choice once again.

David Rabin, co-owner of Union Bar and Lotus, is president of the New York Nightlife Association.

NYPOST

krulltime
June 4th, 2004, 12:47 AM
In a nutshell, if food revenues are less than 40 percent of a bar, tavern or club's business, and it's willing to install the same kind state-of-the-art air filtration equipment that's used in hospital infectious-disease wards (which can make the air in the bar far cleaner than that in the street), it would be allowed to permit smoking once again.


No organization supporting changes to the smoking ban is pro-tobacco. None of us doubts the dangers of being a smoker. But the real issue is the cloudy one of second-hand smoke — and the answer is filtration.

Well that is a start.

Now wouldn't air filtration equipment make noise outside establishments when in place or are they more advance that they are noise-free? If they make some noise then those residents would still complain. :roll:

Schadenfrau
June 4th, 2004, 11:25 AM
They're quiet. Circa Tabac has one.

krulltime
June 4th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Bill allows waivers to ban on smoking
Proposal would permit it if air filtration system is in place; anti-tobacco advocates worry

By JOEL STASHENKO, Associated Press
First published: Thursday, June 3, 2004

ALBANY -- Majority-party sponsorship of a bill in the state Legislature providing new exemptions to New York's 2003 ban on workplace smoking has anti-tobacco advocates worried that the law will be gutted.

State Sen. Raymond Meier said he supports a bill being circulated for sponsorship by state Assemblywoman Roann Destito to exempt bars from the indoor smoking ban, provided the taverns are equipped with approved air filtration systems. Destito's bill is similar to one Meier introduced this year in the Senate, but it goes further by adding bowling alleys and billiard parlors to workplaces where smoking is allowed, as long as there is a separate room fitted with a filtration system.

Both Meier, a Republican, and Destito, a Democrat, are from Oneida County.

Meier noted that the 2003 law allowed waivers to the smoking ban for bars, restaurants and other businesses which could show a decline in business of at least 15 percent from pre-ban revenues. The waivers are being granted by departments of health in 41 counties and by the state Health Department in 21 mostly rural counties which do not have their own health departments.

"This is really preferable to the waiver provision, which has been granted unevenly and without a uniform standard," Meier said.

In addition, he said, most New Yorkers are willing to tolerate some cigarette smoke in bars and taverns.

Russell Sciandra, head of the Center for a Tobacco Free New York, said that while customers have a choice whether or not to patronize a bar where smoking is allowed, employees of the bar don't.

The American Cancer Society's Michael Bopp said smoking ban opponents are stressing air "filtration" systems, as opposed to "ventilation" systems, because they think it sounds safer. But he said the systems do not flush all toxins out of the air in rooms where smoking is taking place. Scott Wexler, executive director of the Restaurant & Tavern Association, said most of his restaurant-owner members have been holding their own under the smoking ban, but bar business is suffering.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press.

krulltime
June 9th, 2004, 11:28 AM
SMOKE BAN COST 2,000 JOBS: BAR OWNERS

June 9, 2004

Groups representing New York state bar owners contend the statewide smoking ban has cost their industry about 2,000 jobs.

A study released yesterday by the New York Nightlife Association and the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association said the ban, which went into effect in July, has also led to $28.5 million in lost wages. Affiliated businesses lost another 650 jobs and $56 million in wages and production, the study by Ridgewood Economic Associates said.

Study author Brian O'Connor said the numbers were derived from projections, as 2004 data is not yet available.

But state Labor Department numbers show bar and tavern jobs were already on the decline in the two years before the ban went into effect.

The groups are pushing for passage of a bill sponsored by majority members in both houses of the Legislature that would provide new exemptions from the ban.

The bill, from GOP state Sen. Raymond Meier and Democratic Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, would exempt bars, provided the taverns are equipped with approved air-filtration systems.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings

Ninjahedge
June 9th, 2004, 12:16 PM
Yet another case of number juggling.

Some peopel benefitted, some were hurt, and EVERYONE is healthier because of it.

krulltime
June 14th, 2004, 01:25 AM
BARS THAT BLOW OFF BAN MAY LOSE LIQUOR LICENSE

By KENNETH LOVETT
June 13, 2004

ALBANY — Bars owners have been warned in threatening government letters that they'll be stripped of their state liquor and lottery licenses if customers continue to smoke, The Post has learned.

The state Health Department, state Liquor Authority and some local county health departments have sent letters to several upstate bars believed to be flouting New York's smoking ban.

"All other business licenses be revoked or suspended, including your liquor and/or lottery licenses," warned Health Department principal sanitarian Leonard Arias in the letters.

Among several bars in Hornell that received warnings were The Angel and Codder's sports bar.

The Liquor Authority, which can suspend liquor licenses when a business is in violation of any state or local ordinances, has also sent out warnings.

Bars owners, already struggling financially because of the law, were outraged to learn they can lose their licenses over the issue.

"The smoking ban itself is putting enough people out of business," said Robert Bookman, counsel for the New York Nightlife Association.

"[Now] the state is threatening to put them out of business for the alleged violation of an ill-considered law."

In the city, bars face closure if they breach the smoking ban more than three times, but it has not been enforced to date.

City health officials say they do not "routinely" refer violators to the Liquor Authority.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

krulltime
June 14th, 2004, 01:35 AM
Is not related to the smoking ban but it has some interesting story about the way New Yorkers are affected by The State safe-cigarette law past in december.

PUFF OR SNUFF

By SAM SMITH
June 13, 2004

Merav Brooks' cigarettes have been snuffing themselves out, and she doesn't know why.

"I keep thinking it's because my ashtray is wet," she said, taking a smoking break outside her job at HBO.

But it's not her ashtray, and soon every New York smoker will notice the same problem.

By June 28, all cigarettes delivered to the state must be self-extinguishing, using new "banded" paper that kills the flame at intervals if it's not puffed.

Some of the new cigarettes, like the Kent brand that Brooks was smoking, have already made their way into the city.

"No wonder they keep going out on me," said Brooks, who was less than elated with the new smokes.

"You don't want anyone else putting out the cigarette for you — there are enough people in the city trying to stop you smoking."

Lorillard, which produces brands such as Kent, Newport and True, is the first tobacco company to ship the new cigarettes to New York.

The other major tobacco companies — R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris and Brown & Williamson — say their products will be ready by the deadline.

New York is the first state in the country to adopt a safe-cigarette law, which passed last December.

The state's Office of Fire Prevention and Control developed the safety standards, which it hopes will cut down on the 100 to 200 people killed in cigarette fires in the state each year.

"Fires usually start accidentally," said spokesman Peter Constantakes. "These [new cigarettes] will reduce the risk and hopefully save lives."

Cigarette companies, which maintain cigarettes don't cause fires; careless smokers do, say the state should not get its hopes up.

"Just because these cigarettes are produced to self-extinguish, they are not 'fire safe,' " said R.J. Reynolds spokesperson Ellen Wallace. "We don't want adult smokers to be lulled into a false sense of security."

Some of those adult smokers who tested the new Lorillard cigarettes had mixed reactions.

Sadia Zafar, a smoker in Midtown, said she welcomed the new feature. "If you're on the phone and you forget your cigarette, you know it's going to die out," she said. "It's safer."

Tracey Florio, a 37-year-old bookkeeper, said she doesn't care, but her husband will. "I could be cooking and I leave a cigarette in the ashtray, and it burns down to the filter," she said. "My husband has a problem with that."

Tobacco companies say the new cigarettes cost more to produce, but that they won't pass on the added expense to customers.

Additional reporting by Matthew Sweeney

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

Ninjahedge
June 14th, 2004, 10:12 AM
Is it just me, or are these things kind of unrelated?

I think the bands were done to try to stem the "Smoking Fires" that happen every year.......

Kris
February 5th, 2005, 11:33 PM
February 6, 2005

In Barrooms, Smoking Ban Is Less Reviled

By JIM RUTENBERG and LILY KOPPEL

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/b.gifack in 2002, when the City Council was weighing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's proposal to eliminate smoking from all indoor public places, few opponents were more fiercely outspoken than James McBratney, president of the Staten Island Restaurant and Tavern Association.

He frequently ripped Mr. Bloomberg as a billionaire dictator with a prohibitionist streak that would undo small businesses like his bar and his restaurant. Visions of customers streaming to the legally smoke-filled pubs of New Jersey kept him awake at night.

Asked last week what he thought of the now two-year-old ban, Mr. McBratney sounded changed. "I have to admit," he said sheepishly, "I've seen no falloff in business in either establishment." He went on to describe what he once considered unimaginable: Customers actually seem to like it, and so does he.

By many predictions, the smoking ban, which went into effect on March 30, 2003, was to be the beginning of the end of the city's reputation as the capital of grit. Its famed nightlife would wither, critics warned, bar and restaurant businesses would sink, tourists would go elsewhere, and the mayor who wrought it all would pay a hefty price in the polls. And then there were those who said that city smokers, a rebellious class if ever there was one, simply would not abide.

But a review of city statistics, as well as interviews last week with dozens of bar patrons, workers and owners, found that the ban has not had the crushing effect on New York's economic, cultural and political landscapes predicted by many of its opponents.

Employment in restaurants and bars, one indicator of the city's service economy, has risen slightly since the ban went into effect, as has the number of restaurant permits requested and held, according to city records, although those increases could be attributed in part to several factors, including a general improvement in the city's economy.

City health inspectors report that 98 percent of bars and restaurants are in compliance with the rules, though some critics question those statistics. Wrath at Mr. Bloomberg, at least pertaining to the smoking ban, seems to be abating.

There are still those cursing the ban as an affront to their civil liberties, and some bar and restaurant owners say that it has undoubtedly caused a decline in business. City officials say they doubt that contention, pointing to data from the first year of the ban showing that restaurant and bar tax receipts were up 8.7 percent over the previous year's. They said they were still waiting for more detailed and current data from the state.

But a vast majority of bar and restaurant patrons interviewed last week, including self-described hard-core smokers, said they were surprised to find themselves pleased with cleaner air, cheaper dry-cleaning bills and a new social order created by the ban.

All of this comes as great relief to Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, commissioner of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who took his job on a promise from the mayor that the smoking ban would be given priority. "It was not a pleasant time," he said of the initial uproar over the ban. "There was a myth that this was very unpopular."

Dr. Frieden credits the apparent success of the new smoking rules here with encouraging other seemingly unlikely places to follow suit, or at least to consider doing so. Among them are Boston, Virginia, Australia, Ireland and Italy. Last week, the City Council in Philadelphia began reviewing a newly proposed bill to make bars and restaurants smoke-free.

The councilman who introduced the bill in Philadelphia, Michael A. Nutter, cited New York as an inspiration. "This is kind of the epitome of the song: 'If you can make it there,' " he said in an interview. "What people are saying is, 'If New York can deal with clean-air legislation, why can't we?' "

Mr. Nutter said he was not worried about the political ramifications.

Mr. Bloomberg's Republican critics have indicated they will raise the smoking rules during the Republican primary campaign as an example of what they call his Democratic tendency toward regulation. But many of the mayor's staunchest opponents said they thought the ban would have no effect on his re-election bid. One of his Democratic challengers, Gifford Miller, the City Council speaker, helped secure the ban's passage. And a leading contender for the Democratic mayoral nomination, Fernando Ferrer, has said he would not seek to overturn it.

"I thought he would lose 50,000 votes simply based on the smoking ban," said Robert Bookman, a lawyer for the New York Nightlife Association, a trade group that aggressively fought the ban. "I'm not so sure anymore."

That is no small thing for Mr. Bloomberg, who once faced hecklers in the streets because of the smoking ban, and whose drop in popularity after it was put in effect was illustrated by The New York Post in a front-page bar graph with cigarette butts.

Mr. Bookman did not dispute most of the good-news numbers the city presented in relation to the smoking ban, though he disagrees with the conclusion that the ban has not had an adverse impact on restaurants and bars.

"Clearly employment is up in New York City going into 2005 or the end of 2004 compared with the year before the smoking ban went into effect," he said. "The year before was 2002; 2002 was almost a depression in New York City. It was the recession plus the 9/11 economic impact. Everybody's doing better in New York compared with 2002."

Mr. Bookman said that the nightlife industries would be doing better still without the ban. But he conceded during an interview that his group had all but given up any lingering hope of overturning the city's provision. It is instead focusing in part on what he said were unfair enforcement issues, like ticketing bar owners for the misbehavior of smoking patrons or for an increase in noise complaints drawn by customers smoking outside. City officials say noise complaints have risen because the city's 311 complaint line has made it easier to file them, not because of outdoor smoking.

The turncoats of Mr. Bookman's once vocal movement can be found on the sidewalk on any given night. Huddled in a tent at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in the Astoria section of Queens on Wednesday and chain-smoking by two heat lamps, Kate Bly, who teaches English to foreign exchange students, said she was surprised by her own positive reaction to the measure, which she had expected would be terrible.

"I was really against the smoking ban," she said. "I thought, bars are for sinful things, smoking, drinking. Now my reaction has changed. I used to feel clammy, stinky, disgusting. Now there's a nice breakup to the evening and a new crowd."

Jason Sitek, 31, said he had similarly begun to enjoy the ban, even if smoke-free bars subtract from what he used to think a New York City bar should be. "The whole nature of New York City and the bar is you can go into a smoky atmosphere," he said. "It's like Disney World now."

Still, he said, smoke-free bars have their advantages. "You realize you stop stinking, you don't smell like an ashtray," he said on Tuesday night as he smoked outside Spike Hill, a bar in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

The temperature was hovering near 30 degrees, but down the street, in front of Rosemary's Greenpoint Tavern, Brian Rennie, 23, said he did not mind that he was forced outdoors to smoke. "I like going outside," he said. "I like to get fresh air."

Several smokers cited other advantages.

"I'm all for it. My dry-cleaning bill's gone way down," said John Payne, 36, who was smoking on Tuesday night outside Toad Hall, in SoHo. "And I'm smoking less."

A friend, Bill Cauclanis, 29, said, "There's a secondary scene now outside of bars - a smoker's scene."

He added: "You can meet a girl out here. Strike up a conversation."

What is good for singles like Mr. Cauclanis is bad for bartenders, who cannot so easily go outside and who find themselves increasingly cut out of the social scene in which they centrally stood. Now, they are often placed in the role of hall monitors, chiding those who disobediently light up, said Barry Crooks, who was tending bar at Toad Hall. Mr. Crooks, an owner of Toad Hall, said he was far more worried about a falloff in business of at least 10 percent, which he said was a result of the new smoking ordinance. "It hurt the volume of business," Mr. Crooks said.

While such complaints were once more common, and perhaps more heated, there are still plenty of them. "It hurts," said John Mulvey, owner of Bridget's Public House on Staten Island.

Public acceptance of the ban has "come around a little bit," Mr. Mulvey said. Business was off 25 percent right after the ban took effect, he said, but now that decline has stabilized at about 5 percent. And while Mr. Mulvey is no longer furious over the anti-smoking ordinance, he says it bothers him that he is not free to run his business as he sees fit - without government intervention.

Mr. Mulvey still has a champion in Audrey Silk, founder of NYC Clash, or Citizens Lobby Against Smoker Harassment. In an interview, Ms. Silk vowed to continue fighting the ban. "We're not giving up," she said.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/02/05/nyregion/20050206_SMOKING_GRAPH.gif

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

NewYorkYankee
February 6th, 2005, 11:03 AM
I, for one, do not like to smell smoke in public areas. Im glad this was done!

billyblancoNYC
February 7th, 2005, 01:28 AM
I love no smoke but feared havoc on nightlife business. Seems like it's ok. I still think that a seperate, sealed area should be allowed for smoking or the installation of those super-strong vents that basically suck all the smoke out of the air.

You had to figure it would settle down, though. Same as restuarants, planes, offices, etc. One day, smoking in a bar might be like smoking on a plane. Plus, that time the city was down. Now, the economy is up, so will this industry. It didn't have as much to do with the ban and with the econ.

Schadenfrau
February 7th, 2005, 12:02 PM
I think the sort of people who frequent bars has changed drastically since the smoking ban.

From what I can see, there are more amateur drinkers- the sort of people who plan their nightlife around New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day. Personally, I found the crowd much more appealing before the ban.

Ninjahedge
February 23rd, 2005, 10:23 AM
In all fairness Shade, the people you see now are the people that AVOIDED the bars because of smoke in the first place.

Give them a few years, they will become regulars soon enough.


Besides, if you want to smoke AND see the "new years" drinkers at the same time, all year round, come on over to Hoboken. Land of the Ashtray.

Schadenfrau
February 23rd, 2005, 01:10 PM
Thanks, but I see enough white-hatted frat rats in the city now.

Ninjahedge
February 23rd, 2005, 01:35 PM
I always found it funny to see groups of them driving around.

You could easily tell their age (under 25) because every one of them was wearing a baseball cap.

That, and the fact that there was a car with 4 guys in it. ;)


Ah well, whatever. The one thing we all must remember with these guys is to be nice, and try to get them hooked on the better beers so we don't have to put up with "bud lite" specials in all the bars... :P

ZippyTheChimp
March 4th, 2005, 08:20 AM
http://www.gothamgazette.com/

Diesel Deaths

by Sam Williams
04 Mar 2005


New York smokers who have to take their cigarette breaks on the cold sidewalk have a new reason to complain. According to a report issued by the Clean Air Task Force last month, truck and bus-borne diesel exhaust can be just as deadly, if not more so, than the second hand smoke that once filled city offices, bars and restaurants.

Titled "An Analysis of Diesel Pollution and Public Health in America, (http://www.catf.us/publications/view.php?id=84)" the report pegs the local death rate due to diesel soot at 2,729. That's nearly triple the death rate of the next closest metropolitan area, Los Angeles, which loses 918 people a year to diesel-related deaths. When the report broke down the statistics on a per capita basis, the only metropolitan regions to edge the Big Apple were oil-production centers such as Beaumont, Tex. and Baton Rouge, La.

As a point of comparison, the American Lung Association estimates that second hand cigarette smoke causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths and 35,000 heart disease deaths each year. Local stats are unavailable, but a simple breakdown based on a New York City metropolitan population size of 20 million results in 2,500 local deaths due to second hand smoke.

Peter Iwanowicz, director of environmental health for the American Lung Association of New York and a local spokesperson for the Clean Air Task Force, says the report's primary purpose is to dramatize the lingering health hazards caused by a form of air pollution source most people tend to ignore.

"This is the first time an entity has put together a report that uses the EPA's own modeling database," says Iwanowicz. "I think while most people understand that diesel exhaust is bad for you, but what is most startling is how dramatically it points out the risk."

Also startling is the regional disparity. Iwanowicz credits California for imposing tougher pollution standards on the businesses that generate diesel exhaust. Aside from a few high profile settlements (http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/environment/20031112/7/%20676), New York in general and New York City in particular remain a place where many companies still get away with aging equipment and excessive idling, he says.

"What we're calling for is a more aggressive plan of action," Iwanowicz says, noting that the EPA's current plan to force transportation companies to employ cleaner-burning engines in new vehicles doesn't go into effect for another two years. The plan leaves it up to local governments to regulate the retrofitting of older, dirtier engines which the task force estimates could take up to 30 years to eliminate from the nation's roadways.

Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, disputes that 30 year estimate, and notes that the study used to estimate exhaust particulate volume dates back to the mid-1990s and thus fails to take into account pollution-limiting technologies implemented over the last decade. At the same time, however, he supports the report's call for more aggressive enforcement of anti-idling laws and the establishment of funding programs to underwrite an industry-wide engine retrofitting program. "We want people to do retrofitting," says Schaeffer. "We want them buying technology. This isn't your classic industry vs. environmental group story. I happen to think we can get a lot more done working together than communicating by press release."

Schadenfrau
March 4th, 2005, 10:50 AM
Complaining about pollution from vehicles doesn't give people the same smarmy satisfaction that griping about smokers does.

Ninjahedge
March 4th, 2005, 11:36 AM
The next time a cigarette transports my dining room set from Upstate NY, let me know.

ZippyTheChimp
March 6th, 2005, 08:34 AM
At the least, this shows that life is more complicated than the good and the bad.

unconstituted
March 13th, 2005, 12:10 PM
Quite disappointed to hear this. How has it affected you smokers practically? Are there hangouts or clubs where you can smoke? Aren't people finding city areas where they can puff in peace?

Ninjahedge
March 14th, 2005, 09:36 AM
Have you tried your own home?

NYatKNIGHT
March 14th, 2005, 01:33 PM
Quite disappointed to hear this. How has it affected you smokers practically? Are there hangouts or clubs where you can smoke? Aren't people finding city areas where they can puff in peace?
My smoking friends seem to have accepted it without too much problem. You can't smoke anywhere legally, but a lot of bars let people smoke in the late hours anyway, so yes, there are secret smoker hangouts.

krulltime
May 2nd, 2005, 02:38 PM
NIGHT LIFE RISES FROM ASHES OF SMOKING BAN


By KENNETH LOVETT and PERRY CHIARAMONTE

May 2, 2005 -- The Big Apple's night life is still thriving, despite predictions it would go up in smoke because of the ban on butts, a new state study shows.

The first-time study by the state Department of Taxation and Finance — a copy of which was obtained by The Post — shows that while tavern business in the city dipped the first six months after the smoking ban went into effect in March 2003, it has been rebounding steadily since.

The study, which for the first time separated out the sales at bars from restaurants, also showed the smoking ban had even less of an initial impact on restaurants, where business has grown at a faster rate than at watering holes.

"Certainly there was a short-term impact in the middle of 2003, but clearly since then business hasn't suffered," said state Tax and Finance spokesman Thomas Bergin. "As a matter of fact, business has improved."

Many bar workers and patrons are not surprised.

"We have smokers who come here that are still upset that they have to go outside, but people find a way to deal with it," said Lucie, a bartender at Milady's on Prince Street.

Samir Hadjarab, manager of Red Bench Bar on Sullivan Street, added, "It was quiet for a while, but now a majority of my customers are nonsmokers."

According to the state study, sales-tax revenue collected from bars dropped 5.9 percent and 7.8 percent during the first two quarters following the implementation of the city ban — the largest declines experienced since business dropped 17 percent right after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

But since September 2003, bar business has begun climbing again, whereas statewide, it has dropped or remained relatively flat since the state smoking ban went into effect July 2003.

For the quarter beginning last June and ending in August, city bars and taverns reported $73.2 million in sales taxes, a healthy 3.8 percent increase over the same period in 2003.

Business even increased slightly during the winter months of late 2003 and early 2004, when smokers had to get used to going outside and lighting up, despite the cold and snow.

State tax officials contend that the numbers are evidence that, despite dire predictions by bar owners and pro-smoking forces, the ban has not decimated the city's bustling night-life industry.

But Scott Wexler, executive director of the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association, said the increase in state sales taxes that were collected from bars can likely be pinned to a quarter-percent increase in the sales tax enacted by the state, as well as to establishments being forced to increase drink prices to make up for lost business.

Still, many customers told The Post they are happy with the smoke-free environment.

"It's more enjoyable," said Howard Glassman, 34, a nonsmoking patron at the Bleecker Street Bar. "People are pretty adaptive, and over time, they have gotten over it."

Yvonne, a bartender at Tom and Jerry's on Elizabeth Street, said: "I still see a lot of smokers coming out. They go outside, and it's become a very social thing."


Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc.

ZippyTheChimp
June 10th, 2005, 06:41 AM
Number of Smokers in NYC Down 15%

BY JILL GARDINER - Staff Reporter of the Sun
June 10, 2005
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/15221

The city's health commissioner credited the Bloomberg administration's three-year assault on tobacco use as the force behind a 15% drop in the number of smokers in the five boroughs.

The commissioner, Dr. Thomas Frieden, said the decline, which took place between 2002 and 2004, was linked to the city's hotly contested ban on smoking in restaurants and bars, its increased cigarette taxes, and the free nicotine patches the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has distributed to 45,000 New York residents.

"It matches what the published literature says will happen when you increase the tax by as much as we increased it by and when you go smoke free," Dr. Frieden said.

The commissioner called the shrinking population of adult smokers a "success story," but said the city would continue efforts to reduce the rate. The percentage of adults who smoke in the city dropped to 18.4% in 2004 from 21.6% two years before.

"What 188,000 fewer smokers means is 60,000 fewer people who are going to die on average 14 years earlier from cigarettes," he said. "So that's pretty good for a few years work."

Not everyone believes the sharp decline that the city found through its latest Community Health Survey, an anonymous telephone survey of approximately 10,000 city residents.

The founder of a smokers' rights group called New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, Audrey Silk, said proponents of the smoking ban "produce studies that support their policies."

While Ms. Silk said she did not believe the statistics presented by the city, she, like many others, takes issue with the smoking ban and the taxes, which she sees as an unfair infringement on citizens' freedom.

"The fact they are using government to manipulate behavior, legal behavior is just contemptible," said Ms Silk, who also said she was running for mayor on the Libertarian Party platform. "It's more contemptible than how people feel about smoking."

The president of the New York Nightlife Association and the co-owner of the nightclub Lotus, David Rabin, said that while he "does not buy much of what the health commissioner says," he hopes that the increase number of people quitting is true.

The mayor's two-and-a-half year smoking ban was seen by many New Yorkers as excessive government intervention. While polls show the majority of New Yorkers are in favor of smoke-free restaurants, bars, and offices, there have been many vocal opponents.

The mayor touted the decline in smoking yesterday. "The cessation of smoking is way ahead of anything we had anticipated, and the number of lives that will be saved because people are smoking less really quite dramatic," he said.

Schadenfrau
June 10th, 2005, 11:57 AM
Wait, I thought Bloomberg promised the smoking ban would save 1,000 service-worker lives a year?

Ninjahedge
June 10th, 2005, 01:55 PM
The claim was stupid, but the fact is that it does make a difference and it has not killed buisness in Manhattan.

So both sides lied their collective arses off and we are all healthier for it.

Better than the results from some of the other lies we are fed every day.

kevinny657
July 17th, 2005, 05:25 PM
just wanted to know if the ban can be overturned with a change of mayor?
Or is that it for New York.

Schadenfrau
July 18th, 2005, 12:09 PM
A new mayor could overturn the law. C. Virginia Fields has expressed some interest in doing so.

kevinny657
July 18th, 2005, 01:10 PM
Thanks i will keep a look out for the elections..

Ninjahedge
July 18th, 2005, 03:20 PM
So you are interested in voting a mayor out over your right to an addiction?

Interesting.

Schadenfrau
July 18th, 2005, 04:04 PM
Ninjahedge, lay off with the preaching. There are about five million reasons to get rid of Bloomberg and people are free to utilize any one they want.

Clarknt67
July 18th, 2005, 05:08 PM
The smoking ban rocks. I thought it was a stupid idea when Bloomberg was championing it (I'm a non-smoker), but now, when I go home to Michigan and have to breath the air in restaurants and clubs, I realize how vile it was and how glad I am to be able to come home and not have my clothes stink or my eyes burning.

Ninjahedge
July 18th, 2005, 05:20 PM
Ninjahedge, lay off with the preaching. There are about five million reasons to get rid of Bloomberg and people are free to utilize any one they want.

Yep.

But if he lights up near me, he might not like the fact I had chili the night before.

kevinny657
July 18th, 2005, 05:30 PM
So you are interested in voting a mayor out over your right to an addiction?

Interesting.

If thats what it takes so someone who has worked hard all of his life to get a bar that is doing well and has staff that dont care if someone smokes and then to have to close due to one man ,then if he gets voted out over it he only has himself to blame.
there should be a percentage of bars that you can smoke and some where you cant , Then everyone has a choice

ryan
July 18th, 2005, 05:47 PM
If thats what it takes so someone who has worked hard all of his life to get a bar that is doing well and has staff that dont care if someone smokes and then to have to close due to one man

Have any NYC bars closed b/c of the ban?

Schadenfrau
July 18th, 2005, 05:52 PM
I've read about a few bars whose owners blamed the fact they were closing on the smoking ban.

kevinny657
July 18th, 2005, 05:54 PM
Not sure of the numbers , But some have due to a loss of custom.

ZippyTheChimp
July 18th, 2005, 05:55 PM
there should be a percentage of bars that you can smoke and some where you cant , Then everyone has a choice
How would you administer that in a fair manner?

English Si 49
July 19th, 2005, 08:54 AM
What is the exact law on smoking? Is smoking allowed anywhere outside or can you get penalised for lighting up in certain areas?

Is there rigid rules on disposal of cigarette litter?

Also, regarding my other favourite past time, drinking, what sort of ID is required? Obviousley I'll have a passport but do you think I'll be able to use my UK driving license?

Ninjahedge
July 19th, 2005, 08:58 AM
If thats what it takes so someone who has worked hard all of his life to get a bar that is doing well and has staff that dont care if someone smokes and then to have to close due to one man ,then if he gets voted out over it he only has himself to blame.
there should be a percentage of bars that you can smoke and some where you cant , Then everyone has a choice

I have heard that SO many times it is not funny.

When you have a buisness that has the choice of whether or not to allow an addictive substance into it, it no longer becomes an issue of preference, choice or ethics.

Every bar that tried to do a no smoking rule in NYC failed for one main reason. It was the only one around for quite a while.

That being said, the people that were going OUT to bars thought, and rightly so, that if they were going out drinking, there would be smoke. MOST of those groups had at least one smoker with them.

Now you walk into a smoke free bar, the one guy will, more likely than not, ask to go to another bar where they can smoke. It was not confrontory or anything, and aside from the smoke which most people expected to have to endure, there was probably not much else that was sacrificed in the bar switch.


ADD to it that, much like Hybrid cars, the bars that tried to offer this kind of thing were also targeting a particular market. A group of people that were so determined to go to a smoke free bar ina land of Bars with smoke that they would go out of their way to get there.

They are not typical bar goers, and as such, catering to them would not be catering to the typical bar patron.




The arguement comes down to some simple things. Most of the non-smokers were, and have been driven away from bars for the reasons you hear. My GF does not even like to walk PAST the bar to get to the eating area in some restaurants in Hoboken because her hair ends up smelling like smoke for hours afterwards.

So if you drive those people away because of their dislike of smoke, who is left to cater to?

By making all establishments prohibit smoking while inside, the non-smokers have started coming out and all bars are on an even playing feild. The rumors and myths of buisnesses closing are just that.

What, your bar was so ordinary that people would not come there if they could not smoke? Sorry to hear that.

Oh, and for about a month or so, people DID come into Hoboken more because they could smoke there, but that has since faded. AAMOF, I know people FROM Hoboken that GO to NYC or stay there after work now just because they can get a beer without smelling like they have been out partying all night...


I guess the hardest thing to get people to accept on this is that yes, all smokers have a right to smoke. What they do not have is the right to subject others to it.

Ninjahedge
July 19th, 2005, 09:03 AM
I've read about a few bars whose owners blamed the fact they were closing on the smoking ban.

That is what I am saying.

Everyone has read about this, or heard about this, but there are no numbers.

It is also interesting to see that most of the ones that are saying this are the same ones that opposed it in the first place for fear of this. Although this does not disqualify their statement, it does bring into question their perspective.

What if they actually failed because of the poor selection, crappy bathrooms and lousy service? You think they would say "No, I was wrong. The smoking ban did very little to the buisness. I just had a place noone wanted to go to".


Out of the thousands of establishments that are in NYC, a half dozen had to close because of smokers not coming to their bar, that is very difficult to prove and very hard to sympathise with.

Ninjahedge
July 19th, 2005, 09:14 AM
I think a passport is all you need. If you have that saying you are 21 or older, you are fine at 99% of the places you go to (a few will have someone too dense to know that a passport is valid, and most will not care so long as you have it).


Smoking is only not allowed inside. You can step outside for a smoke, just do not be loud about it. Some people in the neighborhood do not like the new chic clique of smokers outside of bars under their windows when they are trying to sleep.....

Schadenfrau
July 19th, 2005, 11:16 AM
Like I said before, enough with preaching, Ninjahedge.

Ninjahedge
July 19th, 2005, 11:25 AM
Like I said before, enough with preaching, Ninjahedge.

/me farts.

NP.

Ninjahedge
July 19th, 2005, 11:27 AM
PS, just because you do not agree with it Schade does not make it preaching.

Please stop calling it such.



/me closes windows and turns on heat.

Adrian Balin
August 31st, 2005, 08:59 PM
I would like to say that this is one of the best things that can happen to New Yorkers. No smoking in clubs and restaurants is a wise law. If somebody is stressed out he or she should go to gym or get a hobby like taking pictures or gardening. :) Grow cucumbers if you have to just don't smoke in front of your children. If you have children you should try to quit. If anybody can join this discussion I am interested to read other opinions.

Ninjahedge
September 1st, 2005, 09:13 AM
I would like to say that this is one of the best things that can happen to New Yorkers. No smoking in clubs and restaurants is a wise law. If somebody is stressed out he or she should go to gym or get a hobby like taking pictures or gardening. :) Grow cucumbers if you have to just don't smoke in front of your children. If you have children you should try to quit. If anybody can join this discussion I am interested to read other opinions.


Hehehe.


Nope, none of us are even remotely interested in this topic..... ;)

NYatKNIGHT
January 10th, 2006, 01:01 PM
Legislators Pass Smoking Ban in New Jersey

Late Exemption Added For Casinos at Shore

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/10/nyregion/10smoking.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1136915943-1ok3dxVk3mmcPs1rBo/YFA

lofter1
January 10th, 2006, 01:13 PM
Looks like it's time for a change ...

Dip Is Not Hip, City Slickers Tell Urban Cowboys

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/01/08/nyregion/08chew_span.jpg
Photographs by Lars Klove for The New York Times

By RICHARD MORGAN
New York Times
Jan. 9, 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/08/nyregion/thecity/08chew.html

In the eyes of many New Yorkers, chewing tobacco and its cousin, tobacco dip, is hick. Sure, urban fashion has embraced trucker hats, Pabst Blue Ribbon and cowboy boots, but only as hip irony. Chaw is something different.

Compared with cigarettes or cigars, these products generate small sales, and because of the way tobacco sales are measured in the city and the state, their exact revenues are unknown. But whether their use is a fad or a smokeless reaction to the city's strict smoking rules, the proprietors of bodegas, drugstores and tobacco shops that offer chew and dip say sales are growing.

Michael Bowman, an assistant manager at De La Concha Tobacconist, on the Avenue of the Americas at 56th Street, said he had seen an increase in sales over the last year. Rafas Khan, the manager at Adams Tobacco on Second Avenue, now orders a box of chew pouches every week, compared with a box every 15 to 20 days a year ago. Hemal Sheth, the manager of Lafayette Smoke Shop, on Lafayette Street in SoHo, sells two pouches of chew and a canister of dip a week, and said he had also seen a moderate rise in sales.

But fans of chew and dip still get a hard time. "People tell me to my face that I'm nasty or that I'm a redneck because of it," said Karl Strömbom, a 29-year-old corporate banker who lives on the Upper West Side and favors Skoal Long Cut straight. "I can tell that it's frowned upon."

Buying a canister of Skoal Mint at De La Concha on a recent afternoon, Dan Krystyniak, a dapper 35-year-old money market manager who lives in New Jersey and works in Midtown, said two co-workers also used smokeless tobacco in the office. "They spit into cups and do the whole thing," he said.

"But I try to keep a low profile, out of professional respect." He switched from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco after the birth of his daughter, he added.

Chew and dip, while unhealthy, have their benefits. With the city's smoking ban, office smokers must huddle outside in the cold to get their nicotine, but chaw users can stay in the office, discreetly spitting into paper coffee cups or plastic soda bottles - although users complain that the habit often brands them as coarse bumpkins. With only a discreet lump tucked in the lower lip, a dipper can have a conversation for several minutes with a colleague before needing to spit.

Fans of smokeless tobacco also argue that it tastes good and is cheaper than cigarettes. Mr. Strömbom has found that a $5 can will last him three days. "But of course the biggest advantage is I can do it at work, on the subway, wherever, whenever," he said. "It doesn't bother anyone. Although, when you work in a bank, it's not good to touch papers with brown fingers."

Two years ago, Mr. Strömbom and his wife, a smoker, pledged to kick the nicotine habit together. She stopped smoking, and doesn't know about his continued dipping. "Ninety-five percent of women find it disgusting," he said.
"They ask, 'You really put that in your mouth?' I get that. A lot."


Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

Swede
January 10th, 2006, 02:50 PM
In the eyes of many New Yorkers, chewing tobacco and its cousin, tobacco dip, is hick.
So it is in the eyes of most Stockholmers (here in the homeland of snus, as "tobacco dip" is really called). Snus is fairly comon here, and it is disgusting in a way cigarettes aren't. And don't think the users don't litter the pavement with their tobacco all that much less than smokers do.

Ninjahedge
January 10th, 2006, 04:09 PM
It is about time!

I was expecting this last year! (and no, I do not mean December...)

Now maybe I can go to blues night and stuff w/o stinking on my way home!!!!

ZippyTheChimp
January 25th, 2006, 12:05 AM
January 25, 2006

Still Smoking in New York City, and Venting About the $8 Pack

By ALAN FEUER

Mark Twain is said to have had a good line about the pains of quitting smoking: It's easy. Done it a thousand times.

Twain was probably not on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's mind on Monday when he announced that he was calling for a 50-cent increase in the city's cigarette tax. But getting smokers to quit clearly was.

"There's a clear correlation," the mayor said in Albany. "You raise your cigarette taxes, fewer children go and smoke."

The problem is that smokers are a stubborn bunch. If lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and the like have failed to stop them, why, some asked, would a simple pair of quarters do the trick?

"We're hooked," said Lou Sepe, who was pulling on a smoke yesterday afternoon outside his Times Square office. "That's the problem."

Smokers in the city now pay $3 in taxes, and if the tax increase becomes law, some brands could start costing more than $8 a pack, making New York the most expensive place to buy cigarettes in the country.

That does not bother Yuri Gridin, an information technology expert from New Jersey, where cigarettes are several dollars cheaper. Still, it bothers him that Joe Smoke will be hit much harder than the Dunhill set.

"It's a disgrace," he said. "Basically it affects poor people more than it affects the rich."

According to the city's health department, there are about 1.1 million smokers in New York - a decrease of 188,000 since 2002, when the last cigarette tax increase took effect. Still, cigarette taxes have been rising for years but it has not affected sales, said Damien Banner, a manager at Nat Sherman, which bills itself as the Tobacconist to the World.

Nonetheless, Mr. Banner believes that if taxes do keep rising, there will come a day when only the upper class will smoke.

When that point will come, he does not know. But he guesses that a $12 pack may be the threshold. "I don't see anyone paying more than that," he said.

Matthew Sweeney contributed reporting for this article.

* Copyright 2006The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
January 25th, 2006, 09:06 AM
If people hate it so much, they can just grow their own.


Addicts......

lofter1
January 25th, 2006, 09:26 AM
Time to roll your own ...

http://www.usmoke.com/IMAGE127.GIF

ZippyTheChimp
January 25th, 2006, 11:16 AM
Real men use

http://www.kuhj.com/pic/dru/mjp01aa.jpg

MidtownGuy
January 25th, 2006, 11:39 AM
Calling them names, like "addicts", may be accurate, but the approach here is so hypocritical.
Smoking kills, but so do a lot of the voluntary or addictive behaviors in society. We don't attempt the same approach with those behaviors.
I am not a smoker or a drinker. But I am also not a control freak.
No one forces you to go to establishments where the smoke is thick enough to make you stink. And no one is stopping you from opening your own establishments where you can make your own rules, or patronizing a different place. That's the beauty of CHOICE and a FREE SOCIETY. If you are in a bar or nightclub, and drinking alcohol, it seems to me you have already chosen your poison, and now you just want to make sure others don't have the freedom to do the same.

Rich people won't have to change their behavior because of some added taxes, so this method of deterrance seems inappropriate. If you want to increase taxes on all dangerous or annoying (to you) behavior, then be consistent at least.

As a non-drinker, I hate the smell of booze. And I believe it is harmful in excessive amounts. It is also addictive. But I am not advocating the doubling of liquor prices, and certainly not the banning of alcohol from places where people go to enjoy themselves.

Ninjahedge
January 25th, 2006, 03:02 PM
Calling them names, like "addicts", may be accurate, but the approach here is so hypocritical.

Who says it was in insult? And how is it hypocritical?



Smoking kills, but so do a lot of the voluntary or addictive behaviors in society. We don't attempt the same approach with those behaviors.

No, on some we arrest the guy doing it. Others have penalties because of their effect on work and other things. The only "penalty" that smokers have is the financing of the medical bills that we, the non smoking public, have to pay for when they have no insurance, or it runs out.

Having distain for an invasive habit is warranted, especially when it is pervasive. It smells, it stains, it irritates, and eventually costs us all money. How can you say it is not right to be aggravated about it?


I am not a smoker or a drinker. But I am also not a control freak.
No one forces you to go to establishments where the smoke is thick enough to make you stink.

Um, when that is ALL OF THEM, it gets hard to be choosy. Do you live in Hoboken? Try coming in here and finding a restaurant that you can eat at without walking near a bar. It is not easy. And the smoke does not have to be thick to leave you smelling like it for hours afterwards.


And no one is stopping you from opening your own establishments where you can make your own rules, or patronizing a different place.

That is bullshoot and you know it. They have opened these plavces and they all go under. Read the rest of this thread to see the reasons why, they have already been stated, and restated.


That's the beauty of CHOICE and a FREE SOCIETY. If you are in a bar or nightclub, and drinking alcohol, it seems to me you have already chosen your poison, and now you just want to make sure others don't have the freedom to do the same.

I don't force you to drink, and I do not spit on you when I am drinking. If you would let the person next to you, totally healthy, piss on you in the mens room, then I can see where you can validate the whole "free to do what you want if it is not hurting anyone" position.


Rich people won't have to change their behavior because of some added taxes, so this method of deterrance seems inappropriate.

And that is more BS. The whole thing is that it is a DETERRANT! There are not enough rich people out there to make it worth a damn if they got every single one of them to stop. But make it cost 50¢ a cig and the kiddies will be less likely to start.


If you want to increase taxes on all dangerous or annoying (to you) behavior, then be consistent at least.

You have not seen the taxes on alcohol?


As a non-drinker, I hate the smell of booze. And I believe it is harmful in excessive amounts. It is also addictive. But I am not advocating the doubling of liquor prices, and certainly not the banning of alcohol from places where people go to enjoy themselves.

But the smell does not stick on you. It is also very easily controllable. It is liquid, so the spill is the only thing you are talking about.

Peopel keep trying to tie the two together as if they were synonymous, but guess what, they aren't.

Part of the reason people tie them together is from the years of media saying they are, and the fact that you go to a bar, you get drunk and smell like smoke even if you do not smoke. They have been tied that way.

So please stop trying to tie the two together!

ZippyTheChimp
January 25th, 2006, 04:01 PM
Midtown Guy: Much of what you say is true, but first let me make two points:

1. Yesterday I had lunch in a bar with someone who does not drink alcohol or smoke. The few beers I had did not affect him at all.

2. Your arguments are a better case for further restricting alcohol, rather than easing the restrictions on cigarettes.

On the other hand, as someone who once smoked and still puts down a few beers, I have to laugh at the attempts to minimize the destructive effects of alcohol, both personal and societal, as compared to cigarettes. I'm sure it's been noticed that many of my stories revolve around bars/pubs/taverns. I have also been a counselor, trying to get people with abuse problems into programs. The success rate is abysmal.

Alcohol abuse is by far, the most destructive addiction in the U.S.

If both alcohol and tobacco were considered with equal objectivity, it is alcohol that would be banned. The only reason it is not is that alcohol is thoroughly entwined in society, both culturally and economically. So I can understand why smokers are cynical when they walk into a bar and see some rummy sitting there, several drinks too many and several minutes past his lunch hour, a diet mostly of balogna sandwiches and Doritos...but hey, it's smoke free.

Ninjahedge
January 25th, 2006, 04:44 PM
Zip, I know where you are coming from on that too.

Alcohol is just a no-win because of it being relatively easy to produce with very little overhead.

Bathtub Gin was very common.

But the point that you made about it being entwined in culture is another good point. Smoking is not as big an influence, nor has it been around quite as long as alcohol. It is VERY difficult to get rid of in any way due to its association with just about everything social there is to be social.

When we tried to ban it in the 20's, the drive for it was strong enough to finance the Italian Mafioso and keep ot on top for quite a few years, indeed GENERATIONS after that.

So what are we left with? It is impossible to ban outright, but possible to regulate. That is the only solution.

If people here had just a bit more respect about things, we probably could have come to some sort of middle ground (Look at how Japan does this. They do not allow smoking anywhere but in designated areas. And thoise areas, although smoky, are CLEAN! No ashes or butts all over the floor/ground! They have some respect for the environment that they share with so many others!).


Well, whatever. I am just glad that NJ will be joining the bandwagon soon....