- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
No smoking in NYC public places
The ‘aberrant behavior’ banned in city parks, beaches, 36-12
People in Times Square have had to worry about jihad bomb plots, the surge of a million New Year’s Eve revelers and, potentially, the latest Broadway stinker.
At least now they won’t have to worry about secondhand smoke.
The New York City Council on Wednesday passed, by a 36-12 vote, a ban on smoking in public places such as beaches, parks and public squares. It takes effect in 90 days.
At an hourlong hearing, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said she hoped the measure would serve as an example for the rest of the country and the rest of the world on saving people’s lives from secondhand smoke.
Passing it “would make New York City the third city to ban smoking in public parks and public beaches,” she said, adding that “57 percent of New York nonsmokers have a chemical in their body that indicates that they have been exposed to secondhand smoke.”
However, council members opposed to the bill denounced it as too intrusive and symptomatic of a busybody attitude on the part of city officials.
“I truly believe that that government is being too intrusive into the daily lives of New Yorkers,” said council member Robert Jackson, who identified himself as a nonsmoker. “I truly believe that the government is being too restrictive in this matter.”
Council member Daniel J. Halloren said “it is not the business of the government ever to coerce behavior from us” and added that the bill violated the public’s trust and vindicated “slippery slope” claims about such “nanny state” legislation.
He noted that in 2002, when a law took effect to ban smoking in indoor public facilities, city officials “promised that they would not fall onto the slippery slope” by introducing further legislation on this matter.
However, council member James F. Gennaro said a public ban is exactly what is needed to complement earlier laws and private initiatives on making workplaces smoke-free.
“The message that this action sends is that smoking is aberrant behavior,” Mr. Gennaro said. “This is not normal behavior, this is killer behavior; we have to do everything we can to demoralize this activity.”
Council member Ydanis Rodriquez noted that parks and beaches are used primarily by families and said council members needed to make them safe.
“Our public park and plazas are the few places we can still go for fresh air,” she said.
According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke causes about 50,000 deaths per year in the U.S. and can worsen conditions such as respiratory infections and asthma.
Several counties and municipalities in California, New Jersey and elsewhere have installed regulations similar to New York’s within the past few years. For example, Morris County, N.J., adopted a law in July that prohibits smoking in all public parks and recreational areas and in the adjacent parking lots and sidewalks.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014