Freedom up in Smoke

The anti-smoking campaign marches on in New York City, according to the New York Times. If the city health commissioner has his way, it will be illegal to smoke in certain public outdoor areas, such as parks and beaches. This in a city that already has a robust workplace smoking ban.  One smoker quoted in the story says it best:

“In this world, the people who have the power always try and make rules for the other people,” said Ismael Bah, 37, a salesman at J & R Music World, who was smoking Marlboros on a park bench near City Hall. “It makes sense to ban smoking inside, but smoking outside? Come on.”

This is even too much for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who issued this tepid statement of support when he heard of the proposed ban, according to the Times:

On Monday night, the mayor, who has championed anti-smoking programs but also is running for re-election, issued a statement that did not disavow the proposal but appeared to qualify it, saying he wanted “to see if smoking in parks has a negative impact on people’s health.”

He added, “It may not be logistically possible to enforce a ban across thousands of acres, but there may be areas within parks where restricting smoking can protect health.”

We here at OSPRI can think of better ways to enjoy the outdoors, such as our upcoming Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Party.

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