New York celebrated 10th anniversary of smoking ban

Bar Smoking Ban

New York celebrated 10th anniversary of smoking ban public places such as bars and restaurants

On March 27, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg celebrated 10th anniversary of smoking ban public places such as bars and restaurants.

“Ten years ago when New York City banned smoking in restaurants and bars, many forecasted the end of the hospitality, restaurant and tourism industries,” Bloomberg stated.

Critics of the step anticipated smoking ban would harm the restaurant and bar earnings, but the Health Department review said there are now some 6,000 more restaurants and bars in New York than there were ten years ago.

The New York’s Smoke-Free Air Act became operative a little over a year into Bloomberg’s first term as mayor in 2003 and banned smoking inside bars, restaurants and most office buildings.

The following year, New York began offering free nicotine replacement therapy to smokers attempting to stop smoking and in 2011 extended the smoking ban to the New York’s parks and beaches.

As outlined by the review unveiled on March 27, the percentage of adult smokers decreased by about a third to 13% in 2011 from 19 % in 2002. The review, published by the city’s Health Department, also said the percentage of youths aged 18 who smoke slipped by about half to 9%.

Bloomberg’s period, which will end in 2013, has been marked by his efforts to boost New Yorkers’ health by trying to stimulate them to eat less salt, trans fats and calories in general, among other actions.

A week later, Bloomberg released his strategy to demand stores to hide cigarettes and tobacco products from tobacco displays, reasoning that would protect youth from advertising efforts.

Some store proprietors and tobacco companies have criticized the strategy as unnecessary extra regulation that would break the free speech provision of the U.S. Constitution.

Bloomberg also suggested a minimum price of $10.50 for a cigarette pack in order to some smokers would find smoking too costly to keep. The two bills are now before the city council.

Ronald Bayer, a professor of public health at Columbia University, called Bloomberg’s health projects a “major achievement” and said his attempts to make smoking less socially appropriate were an effective and legitimate use of his office.

He said it remains at question how much further government could go to discourage smokers to stop smoking.

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