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New York Smoking Ban Angers Smokers And Non-Smokers

July 5, 2011 by  

Many municipalities are banning smoking in public areas.A recent addition to the smoking ban laws that have rippled through major cities was enacted in White Plains, N.Y., this week, taking away a smoker’s right to light up in parks, plazas, playgrounds and trails, the Lower Hudson Valley News reports.

Even non-smokers have voiced their opinion about the law’s intrusion on personal liberties. “I think that people who want to smoke should be allowed to smoke in parks,” Max Gaujean, a non-smoker, told the media outlet.

Smokers who violate the new law will face fines of $25 for their first offense, $50 for a second and $75 for any citations thereafter, CBS New York reported.

Barry H. Colvin of the Lower Hudson Valley News argues that lawmakers are enacting laws based on personal value judgments, and working to impose those values on others through law.

“As far as I know, you are still allowed to smoke in your own home,” he wrote in a recent column, “although that liberty may well be on a short rope as well.”

According to the Surgeon General’s office, following California’s 1998 decision, more than half of the States have now enacted public smoking bans.

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  • skippy

    Well, what if EVERY smoker was to QUIT!!!….then what?? Who would go broke then?! Seems like plenty of tax $$$ is going to be lost by states, etc.

  • RobinPC

    I make this statement with the opinion that what I di, and where I do it – without damaging others – is my business and mine alone. I smoke. I have smoked for over 55 years, and do not need the government to tell me if it is good or bad. This is a choice I made for myself. If the government tells me that it is bad for me, then I immediately think it is not bad, but then the government never lies do they? Ok, regardless – I do not like the non smoking people, not even half my age, looking down their noses at what I do because it is none of their business. Are my taxes worth less than theirs? Is my personal liberty worth less than theirs? I honor no smoking signs where they are placed, but who gives anyone the right to tell me I can not smoke in my taxed paid for park, on my tax paid for street? Why is alcohol the politicians sacred cow? I pay tons more taxes on a pack of cigerettes than for a 6 pack of beer, but I never knew anyone that lite up a smoke, got in his car and drove recklessly ending up killing innocent people in the oncoming lane. I have known many that have been involved in such experiences when one is driving drunk. So, to be fair, we need no drinking of alcohol in any public place, including resturants. Politicians are very guilty of imposing laws based upon their personal ideals, regardless of what the people they represent think. I will close by asking – is the WH a public place? If so, then why does President Obama smoke there?

    • Al Sieber

      I agree with you, and second that, it’s all about more control over us and how many cigarette police are they gonna hire to enforce the law? or are they gonna use regular citizens as snitches? the new Gestapo…

    • bill

      the white house is not in white plians, ny. Also, the white house is not a public place.

  • JimRed

    I hate cigarette smoke. But I hate overregulation by the nannystate even more!

  • hicusdicus

    When I am out in the park enjoying the fresh air why do I have to smell your stinking tobacco smoke? If you want to smoke just keep it to your self.

    • Al Sieber

      Sounds like you would do well working for the state as a cigarette cop.

    • s c

      H, you are so typical of the hypocritical progressives who infest this website. What you really mean is that you would stop all forms of smoking – if only you could do it.
      If you haven’t figured it out yet, government gets rich via ‘sin tax.’ They claim to hate it – but they love it at the same time (it gives the SOBs SO MUCH MONEY to waste on social engineering projects.
      There is NO good reason to prevent people from smoking in public. There is a good reason for people like you to stay at home and never go outside. It’s SPOOKY out there, and you might get hurt! Crawl into that womb you love so much, and leave adult matters to ADULTS.

      • karolyn

        sc – I certainly hope you’re not talking about me as one of those progressives. I believe in freedom and am a smoker.

      • Bob from Calif.

        You are so right SC, life is a risk. You could die in your sleep, you could slip and die in the bath tub, you could die in a car wreck, you could choke to death on your morning bagel. I can guarantee one thing 100% to all of you progressives out there; you are not getting out of this life alive. There is nothing going to save you except for maybe the Rapture. The politicians can’t pass one law that will keep you alive one second longer, when your time is up.

    • RobinPC

      If you do not like to smell my smoke in a public park – you are free to find a different place to sit. Do you have a nose like a fox and can smell the slightest smell in the air? Then how do you survive your own farts?

      • Al Sieber

        Good one Robin, and sc.

      • coal miner

        I agree with you and s.c.This is not like in a crowded room.This hicusdicus is full of it.

      • Samsmom

        Neither farts nor second hand farts cause cancer. Second hand smoke does, and everyone has a right to not have to breathe it. If you care to look at the facts, you might find the same info I’ve come across before that states that secondhand smoke is more toxic than what the actual smoker is breathing in firsthand. Neither you nor anyone else has the right to poison me. When they invent a cigarette that does not pollute the air around the smoker, I would welcome smokers to light up anywhere they please, even though I think they are complete idiots for slowly killing themselves this way. But when I am at the park to have a healthy experience with my 7-year old, who has epliepsy and Asperger’s, pardon me if I don’t want you to come share our bench if you choose to kill yourself by smoking that crap because I don’t need any more physical damage. I had lung problems all my young life because my grandparents, were smokers and I was always stuck breathing their secondhand smoke. One thing about having a drink: you don’t pollute anyone around you. Drinking and driving, though? Irresponsible and asinine. Just like smoking.

        • FlaJim

          There is not one single documented case of cancer caused by second hand smoke. Not one. The CDC has been making this phony claim for decades but can’t prove it because it doesn’t exist.

          For nearly 45 years, I’ve smoked at least a pack a day. Every time I visit the doctor, he listens to my lungs, then congratulates me on being a non smoker.

          Problems associated with smoking (first hand) seem to run in families, further bolstering the theory that smoking doesn’t cause these illnesses but exacerbates preexisting conditions or weaknesses.

          • karolyn

            True! Our genes play a huge part in any diseases we acquire. Everyone carries cancer cells, but not everyone gets cancer.

        • karolyn

          Drinking does pollute those around the drinker, especially the family and those subject to violent behavior. Booze destroys more than smoke does.

        • Kinetic1

          Agreed. Funny how many folks on this site are pro life but would scream bloody murder if a law was past restricting parents from smoking in a car with children aboard. And what about the millions of tax dollars given to tobacco farmers? Or the billions lost each year in productivity and health care costs related to smoking? Why aren’t they complaining about that? Personally I’ve had enough of these anti smoking laws. There is not positive side of smoking, so let’s just outlaw the stuff and move on. We’d all be better off.

          • Pat

            Kinetic 1
            What are you? Six years old? Make it illegal (ban it) and move on? It worked real well with alcohol, didn’t it? Prohibition had to be repealed. The same thing would happen with cigarettes.
            I am a non-smoker, but think it is outrageous how smokers are persecuted…yes, persecuted. If our so-called benevolent nanny government were really interested in stopping smoking (which is legal, by the way) they would buy out the stockholders of the cigarette manufacturers and close them down. Of course, they would also kiss all that tax money goodbye. Then our Obumbler-in-chief would have to get his cigarettes on the black market…which will be roaring!
            “Ban it and move on,” you say. Hah! You must be joking.

        • ValDM

          If you’re so worried about cancer-causing agents, get beyond cigs. I’ll try to list just a few, so you can be more informed & less judgMENTAL.

          Corn/vegetable oil that you cook with : most have been harvested with heat, which makes them rancid. To keep you unaware of most cooking oil’s rancidity, producers put a deodorizer in the product. By heating this oil, the deodorizer burns off, creating a chemical miasma in your house that is the equivalent of smoking an ENTIRE PACK OF CIGS AT ONE TIME.

          Fruits & vegetables : most have a significant residue of pesticides on them, including the petro-chemical that was used to apply said pestcides. Guess where these chemicals reside in your body? FAT; and unless you do a thorough cleanse, you’ll always have them.

          Eat any dairy products? Cheese & butter are all products of the harvested animal’s FAT. As we see in the above paragraph, you can easily surmise you’re getting more than you need of harmful chemicals, via a third party.

          Grill any meat? Known carcinogens in grilled meat, especially the parts we all like best (the crunchy parts).

          Get off the cig brigade. Smokers are entitled to use a park their tax dollars paid for. If it’s a park you paid for exclusively……then it’s your YARD, and in your yard you get to make the rules. If it’s a public park, then it belongs to EVERYONE, and you don’t get to make the rules. Live with it.

          • Renee

            You are so right about all the other things out there that can cause cancer, even things we choose to put in our mouths like toothpaste with flouride and the water we drink from the tap.

            I personally hate the smell of cigarette smoke but if someone wants to smoke in the park let them, (except maybe where the playground area is, I think we should be careful with anything we do around children) I have the right to get up and move. Now, if they were in my house or my yard, I’d kick their backsides out because I have that right as well. It isn’t up to me or anyone else regarding what someone wants to injest that is “legal” and the government shouldn’t have the right to stop them either. These are the “RIGHTS” we are supposed to have according to the constitution but we already know that our government officials have never read what that particular document has to say. Now on the area of respect, that is a totally different subject, if I know that I’m doing something that bothers another person, I won’t do that and I hope that others will have the same respect for me. If I am already at the park, let’s say with my family and a smoker walks toward us and there is a HUGE area on the other side of the park, please respect my family and just walk a few step further away from us if you want to light up. That isn’t asking much. BUT, you still have the right to smoke, just move over a little so we don’t have to participate in your habit. Thanks.

          • Kinetic1

            Gee Val, thanks for the info. I use cold pressed oils, Organic fruits and Veggies, My dairy comes from local farmers with only grass fed beef and guess where the local beef comes from. Your point is valid though, there are carcinogens everywhere, but that’s not an excuse to allow more.

            Allowing one small group to dictate the rules for the rest of us is just the kind of thing you folks complain about everyday on this site. So if we can show that the majority of residents and park users do not want smoking permitted, who are you to tell us all what we have to put up with? I’ll give you the point on not allowing a city board or council make the decision without public input, but let’s put it to a vote and see how the majority feels.

        • Mac

          Smoking does NOT cause cancer in everyone, nor does second-hand smoke. I tried smoking in my earlier days but never could get the hang of getting hooked on it, so I gave up trying. But I have always associated with smokers, in smoke-filled venues, and at age 75 I have no cancer. The argument that smoking causes cancer just doesn’t stand up to evidence. Maybe it promotes cancer in those individuals prone to getting cancer, but it is most definitely NOT a 100% cancer-causing agent.

        • Al Sieber

          Well Sams, you must have sniffed a lot of farts to know the’s about our rights, not about tobacco.

        • Skid

          Since you are so concerned about a few puffs of smoke, I assume that you must not own or drive a car. After all, the exhaust from an average engine creates far more toxins and pollutants (per each secant of operation) than what is created by an entire cigarette.

      • CJ

        You whiney smokers need to realize smoking is NOT a right, it’s a privilege. It is not necessary for life, and enjoying that privilege potentially denies another their RIGHT to breath clean air. That being said, I do not need my tax dollars wasted on this low priority assignment. We’ve already spent about $290,000 in taxes per each job “saved” by this administration. If smokers just showed enough consideration over where they expell their smoke as they do other offensive byproducts of living, we’d all breath easier.

    • 2WarAbnVet

      Zu Befehl, mein Fuhrer!

    • s griffen

      Betcha smoke some weed though…..

    • coal miner


      That makes no sense at all.Cook outs give off more pollution than cigarette smoke.Fresh blowing air would take care of the second hand cigarette smoke.Some of these clowns we called law makers are trying to get laws pass that makes it illegal to smoke in your own car.Where is it going to end?Will it be in your house,in your boat or out on the open range? Get real!

    • karolyn

      What about all the pollution we breathe in every day? I smoke but will not subject anyone else to it if it is a problem with them.

  • http://yahoo Shirley King

    RobinPC says it VERY well !!!!!! What about the booze drinking, car driving idiots that drink, drive and kill ????. Plus WHY was it banned to have tv ads for ciggarettes but NOT for alcohol. ?? Maybe because that is the politicians choice of relaxation ? How many times do we have to read about politicians, movie stars, athletes etc drinking and driving ??? Fair is fair STOP gloryfing drinking but banning smoking. I personelly have lost SEVERAL friends to drunk drivers, some were just kids, but I have lost maybe two from lung disease.

    • Mac

      Shirley, certain classes of alcohol ARE banned from TV advertising. Hard liquor ads are not allowed on broadcast TV.

  • Gene

    Banning smoking on publicly owned property is an extention of the insane idea that no one can do or say anything that anyone might be offended by. It is impossible to say or do anything that won’t offend or infuriate some group or individual. I am continually offended by much of what I see and hear, but if there is to be freedom, people have a right to do or say whatever stupid, offensive things they like (smoke included).

    Smoking bans (like nearly everything government inflicts on the people) are an egregious violation of property rights. The owner of a business has an absolute right to set whatever policy he likes and no one is compelled to patronize his business, or to work there, if they disagree with the policy. Before the government busybodies and tyrants imposed their will on most businesses, there were both smoking and non-smoking establishments and many that accomodated both, in seperate areas, giving everyone a choice of enviroment (even if you had to go a bit out of your way to find it). Now (at least in most of the country) the 25-30% of people who smoke have no choice and nowhere to go, where they can enjoy a smoke with their coffee or beer, or after a meal.

  • Cliffystones

    I’ve never understood the ban on smoking in restaurants, as long as the owner is willing to accommodate it. When I was younger, California had smoking and non-smoking sections. Even some smokers would choose non-smoking as they didn’t associate smoking with meals. This arrangement worked out very well for everybody, but the Fascists weren’t satisfied.

    I do remember one instance when eating out with my girlfriend. Some self-absorbed jerk had the gall to light up a stogy! He was on the other side of the restaurant, but we all know how potent some cigars can be. I might as well have been eating my meal in a campground outhouse. I asked the waitress if then manager could find some tactful way to explain to this guy how our world didn’t revolve around him. Before she had the chance, someone else had dropped an effective hint :).

    • karolyn

      I heard a piece on smoking in Germany this morning. Apparently, they have not been very successful in banning smoking in restaurants. They tried, but the restaurants rebelled because they were losing business, so the law lost its teeth.

  • B

    I would not mind being a cigarette cop. Them smokers should be allowed to smoke only in their bedrooms. How dare they stuff their smoke into our bodies? No one should smoke in parks where nonsmokers can enjoy themselves and their kids.

    Down with smokers and their smokes. To many fags (butts) on the grounds.
    Lawmakers finally do something to protect smokers.


    • karolyn

      Think of how many pollutants we breathe in on any given day no matter where we live. Cigarette smoke is but a dent.

      • B

        True. I already knew that, but cigarette is closer to me than the others. More controllable.

        Some jerks walk by my apt, looks inside (while walking – I have the door open) then they blow smoke inside, not on purpose, but they are thoughtless. I have a fan, they exhale in front of my fan that blows cooler air inside my apt.

        College and other place says no smoking within 50 feet of the door, but they smoke past 15 feet on the walkway. Duh, It should include 50 feet anywhere from the entry doorway. I have the window open in my car at a red light, the tail pipe exhaust blast smoke, I just drive up a bit, then I smell smoke from the car next to me. GAG!

        Smoke comes out of people’s insides, lungs, as they exhale, that same infestation floats to my nostrils and contaminated my insides.
        Disgusting. Repulsive. Might as well as cut his lungs out and lick it.
        Big difference a dent makes, my dear karolyn.


        • Mac

          B, you are an idiot. You aren’t concerned about the bacteria and viruses that non-smokers exhale, just the smoke? Did it ever cross your mind to place the fan somewhere besides the area where the public is exhaling? Don’t you have a back door or window? You seem to be looking for things to complain about.

          In parks and other outdoor locations smoke and other pollutants are quickly diluted by the huge volume of air, and most of the time, wind.

          • B

            Me an idiot? Haw. Takes one to know one.

            I tell you something, if I was to move the fan, I’d have to make a hole somewhere. I live on second floor, left the window open so the air can get through the whole place from front door to back window. Not the point. I explained it, and will repeat, people smoke as they walk by, blowing smoke, as in e x h a l e. In parks, depends on situation, people walk by blowing smoke. I could be in opposite direction, or right behind them and smell it. Not quick enough. Pluheeze!

            What is with the name calling? idiot? Whatever.


          • B


            By the way, I am concern about bacteria and virus. I have “Germ-X” hand sanitizer. This is not the issue. The hand sanitizer can’t prevent me from inhaling the other’s filthy smoke. The issue here in this blog is about “s m o k e”. Stick with the subject Mac. Good riddance!


            I am moving next month where there will be less smoking environment.
            The things I had to do…

  • coal miner

    I also believe that government has no business telling us how we should live our lives. I think our lifestyle choices should be left up to us. What we do in our private lives is none of the government’s business. That position rules out the Republican Party for me.
    Jesse Ventura

    • Kinetic1

      Caol miner,
      I agree, do what ever you want. Smoke, drink, take drugs if you want, but when your freedom begins to interfere with mine I draw the line. As the old saying goes, your personal freedom ends at the tip of your nose.

      • Jay

        Kinetic, how do people who exercise their freedom to smoke interfere with your freedoms?

  • i41

    I don’t smoke but when privatye businesses and public property and and private land is controlled by some government dumb azz with out a clue on reality. Is where I draw the line, when Game Fish & Parks think they can come on my private property to harass my guests or me to check my license. More than one has been run off with a smoke stick over the years. The Fed Wikdgame said he didn’t need any permission to go on privatre property but still has shown up, when 15 of us land owners told him to have a legal instrument or the outcome was his choice. People need to grow a backbone and get away from any worthless government meddling programs. SDame goes for any government enity, city,county,state or federal, they will only go as far as you let them and that goes for the leech lawyers, they all bleed and breathe.

  • Jay

    As a non-smoker I have no issue with people smoking. To smokers I say, smoke if you must, but do it at a reasonable distance from me, and for the most part, I find that smokers are a lot more considerate of non-smokers then we give them credit for! Also, non-smokers should take into account that smoking is a serious addiction, and smokers are in essence, addicts, or addicted to their product. As for banning smoking in public areas? Again, I have no issue!

  • FWO21

    “Barry H. Colvin of the Lower Hudson Valley News argues that lawmakers are enacting laws based on personal value judgments, and working to impose those values on others through law.”

    Well, if this is true, I wish I could be a bug on their walls to see how they live. I truly doubt they are the perfect citizen. It’s all about control and money, of course.

    Prison out in the real world and prison at home. Ohhhhhh, what a life. Then you have politicians telling you how you can live. I could just puke.

    By the way, what is so healthy about being a homosexual; especially a male? They can spread AIDS and that is very costly to the taxpayers in healthcare.

  • B

    If I must support just ONE bill that would allow the Govt. to take away the people’s rights. It would be to take away the people’s right to smoke them cigarettes.

    It beats restricting Gun rights.


  • Hanshi

    I don’t smoke and don’t like smoke, but these creeping regulation will continue to grow and soon we’ll have no freedoms. Perhaps the best way of handling this non smokin issue in parks is to have the non smokers move a little away from the smokers and have the smokers try to be off by themselves a little. Then we can both enjoy other freedoms that won’t eventually be taken away.

  • LarrWayne

    Some scum politicians will sell your rights away for a few dollars, and idiots will go along with the confiscation of rights for a few handouts.

  • Skid

    And now they are whining about water vapor from E-cigarettes.

    Electronic Cigarettes Banned On U.S. Flights

  • harleyrider1778

    They have created a fear that is based on nothing’’
    World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that he’s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

    What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

    PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

    It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France …

    I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

    Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

    They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor … but not greater than pollen!

    The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

    Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor’s note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It’s everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

    Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

    The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

    Why not speak up earlier?

    As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

    Le Parisien Paris magazine

  • http://att pring

    There are too many stupid laws, if all the states would get together and make laws that are worthwhile instead of thinking up new laws that are making people dislike the goverment more and more , smoking bans are one of the most rediculous and it also takes away revenue for the states involved and they should start to think of what might happen if people start to show their ire, if there are no rights afforded to smokers or a lot more of their rights being gutted, restaurants are about the only placed where it should not be allowed for the simple reason food is being served , the states involved might think about rescinding their smoking bans and let people try and enjoy their lives. NANNY STATE ALL OF THEM and they deserve to lose the tax benefits that smoking brings, smokers will just go somewhere else.


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