NYC Mayor: Ban Smoking in Public

In another blow to New York cigar smokers, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced his plans to get smoking banned in the city’s parks and other public outdoor recreational areas, including beaches.

“Overwhelmingly, when you ask people in parks or on beaches, they say they just don’t want smokers there,” said Bloomberg.

New York lawmakers have already voted to raise their state tobacco taxes to 75 percent of the wholesale cost, which will make the state’s cigar tax the highest in the nation, when the law goes into effect on August 01, 2010.

New York’s City Council will have to approve the proposed ban before it becomes law. It is all but certain they will push to move forward on the measure.

I sincerely hope this law does not take effect. It is an abomination that such measures can even be considered in a free nation. Smoking is still a legal activity in America. Denying tax-paying citizens of this right is a slap in the face of democracy.

Passing this type of legislation is a slimy way to avoid the perils of what prohibition did for alcohol. I’d like to see New York try a ban on alcohol. Their already out of control crime rate would escalate to Biblical levels of chaos!

Smokers should not be demonized. I fear, if New York’s war on smokers continues, smoking will soon be banned even in private vehicles, a practice already common in some European cities.

Perhaps most heartbreaking of all is the sad fact that a ban on smoking in public places, coupled with the impending hike in tobacco tax, will hurt small businesses the most.

It will force hard-working tobacconists across the state to shut down their shops and join the ever increasing unemployment line.

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