Today was the first round of hearings on the New York City Outdoor Smoking Ban.

The word I’ve heard is that this was a pretty heated meeting that took place today with the City Council.   At today’s meetings the word “Compromise” is being bantered at the hearings.   Peter Vallone (who make no bones about it – a full fledged member of the Pleasure Police) is floating a “compromise” .   This compromise would create “smoking areas” in parks greater than 2 acres.  These smoking areas would allow smoking in only 20 percent of the open space.   The proposal would also allow smoking in pedestrian plazas.

Cigar Coop is COMPLETELY OPPOSED to this plan and I urge you continue the fight for our rights.   Keep in mind about 10 years ago, we let the Pleasure Police do this to Indoor areas.   When they did this, they weren’t satisfied and they went for basically a full Indoor Smoking ban.  Will the same thing happen to Outdoors once this passes?

I also think that if we can win this battle, it will be a major victory for tobacco.  This is a legal product and this threatens our legal rights.  Finally my other question is what about those smaller areas than 2 acres?

I was very glad to see the IPCPR and NYTA opposed to this as well.  Glynn Loope of the CRA who was at the hearings took a public stand opposing the compromise.

Click here to read the article.   Please contact the NY City Council people and keep the fight up against Mayor Gloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

UPDATE:  The following was from Glynn Loope from the CRA.  I agree with what he says   THE GREAT NEWS IS THE PETITION MADE AN IMPACT:

I went on record at the hearing against the Vallone “compromise.” If it passes over Bloomberg’s plan, that’s where the political chips fall, but I don’t think at this juncture we should be supporting any nanny state maneuvers. This is obviously an uphill battle, that will be very challenging, at best. But at least they know we’re here…as they commented about our CRA e-petition campaign…we can now say over 51,000 petitions under the CRA banner have flowed into City Hall!!!!! This will be a moving target for a while. Let’s all stay tuned, and let your voices be heard.