Friday, 4 February 2011

New York Smoking Ban

Since 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has embarked on a project to make New York a safer and cleaner city. It's worked to some extent, with the crackdown on crime and ban of smoking in public buildings such as restaurants and bars. However, his latest endeavour is taking it one step further. He wanted to pass a law banning smoking in parks and public places such as the nearby beaches, the city's parks and Times Square, even though they're outside and in the open air. This new law has been passed by 36 votes to 12 and will see to enforce perpetrators to pay $50 (around £30) if they light up in the banned areas.

It's clear to see that Mayor Bloomberg has good intentions in cleaning up the city's atmosphere but more can be said about the absolute ludicrousness in his logic. For one, the public open air is free to the public to do what they wish with it, whether it's to breathe it in or waste it. Secondly, how many of NYC cops will be bothered to enforce it as surely they have bigger fish to fry (and doughnuts to buy)? Thirdly, will the ban actually make a difference to the atmosphere with the thousands of taxi cabs, cars and motor vehicles chugging out carbon monoxide and other nasty exhausts on a daily basis?

And do the ones who flout the new law get a fine discount if it is a particularly windy day and there are influxes of newer, fresher air? How long is it until city dwellers can't smoke in their own homes?

The new law will come into affect 90 days from the date Mayor Bloomberg signs it through this month.

Source: The Guardian
Photographs: Google & L Sabin

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