Looking Back on Two Smoke-Free Years

The City of New York banned smoking in all indoor public places on 30 March, 2003. Almost two years after the ban went into effect, the New York Times is looking at the effects of the ban:

Asked last week what he thought of the now two-year-old ban, [James McBratney, president of the Staten Island Restaurant and Tavern Association,] sounded changed. “I have to admit,” he said sheepishly, “I’ve seen no falloff in business in either establishment.” He went on to describe what he once considered unimaginable: Customers actually seem to like it, and so does he.

[A] vast majority of bar and restaurant patrons interviewed last week, including self-described hard-core smokers, said they were surprised to find themselves pleased with cleaner air, cheaper dry-cleaning bills and a new social order created by the ban.

Kudos to New York City for having the cojones to keep this ban in place and enforce it. I’m sure the bar scene smells much better now, and this has been an inspiration to other areas as well — Boston has enacted a city-wide ban, Philadelphia’s city council is considering one now, and that heart of tobacco production in the United States, Virginia, has enacted a state-wide ban. Australia, Italy, and Ireland have also followed suit. Hopefully this portends a new attitude toward smoking in public: if you want to screw up your body, do it on your own time, on your own property, and leave the rest of us out of it!

posted by Chris on 05 February 2005 at 2034 in general


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Comment by Kim Leehaug

Actually, there is a state-wide smoking ban in workplaces in Massachusetts. Restaurants and bars are the most greatly affected by the ban, but it includes all workplaces.

posted at 2034 on 05 February 2005

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