Friday, June 20, 2003

Kriston and I have been having an ongoing disagreement about New York's smoking ban. I'm anti-ban because I disagree with any sweeping, draconian measure pushed through against the will of the people (unlike CA's ban) that doesn't address something dire like, say, civil rights. Kriston, on the other hand, is for the ban because, well, he thinks people getting lung cancer againt their will is worse than people having to follow legislation against their will. Softy. (this is all very ironic since he's a long-time smoker and I only indulge one cigarette every 6 months to remind myself why I don't.) Anyway, via Andrew Sullivan, here's a British New Yorker's take on the ban. In it, there are some amusing tidbits, such as the fact that Mayor Bloomberg's approval rating has plummeted to 24%, and that he was booed when marching in the recent Puerto Rican parade. Bars and restaurants are suffering from dwindling business. Noise complaints from residents around bars have shot up by 160% since everyone has to go outside to smoke, and the streets are carpeted with cigarette butts.

I know that it's hard to argue against serious public health issues, and I suppose my aversion to this law is more instinctual and visceral than logical. But my friends all really do look sexier when they smoke, and I don't want to take away one of the few things we have going for us.


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