Yesterday, tobacco and cigar enthusiasts were dealt a devistating blow with the Raleigh City Council voting for an Outdoor Smoking Ban in parks.   Well today the New York City Council, voted to follow suit.   It is expected that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will sign this into law.

This is a huge blow for us.   Here are the particulars where tobacco enthusiasts cannot enjoy a smoke:

  • City Parks
  • City Beaches
  • City-Owned Pools
  • City Recreation Centers
  • All property and facilities under the jurisdiction of the Parks and Recreation Department
  • Pedestrian Plazas – Times Square and Herald Square to name a few.

Kudos to Cigar Rights of America for a swift response.   The last hail-mary we have is keep the pressure on the Mayor not to sign this bill.   It is very important that we as tobacco enthusiasts read the CRA response.  Another thank you to the CRA.   These guys are working hard fighting the fight for us.

I wrote this yesterday in my Raleigh Outdoor Smoking ban post.  I’ve reworded this slightly.

What can be done now?   Keep the pressure up on your representatives.   Hold members of the city council accountable for this come election time.   Show them by voting against them in the next election. This will tell them that they did not represent the interests of the people.  If you don’t live in New York, then keep the pressure on your local politicians so they don’t try to implement an outdoor ban in your neck of the woods.

By the way, for folks who support this ordinance – just wait.  They will be coming after a lot of other things – food, drink, and even what you can say or wear.   This is already happening with Bloomberg’s campaign against salt.  The Pleasure Police will not stop until they control every aspect of your life.   This passing of the bill sets the precedent for more to come.  Wait till they take aim at smoking on private property.

I am curious about what happened to Peter Vallone’s compromise proposal.  I don’t have any details on this at this time.

Update: Heard from Glynn Loope that three compromise proposals were on the table – and none were heard.  Something is rotten in the Big Apple.

Finally, I’m personally toying with an idea of lighting up a cigar in Times Square or a Park and paying the $50.00 fine as a protest next time I am in New York.   Need to think this one over a bit more, so stay tuned.