View Full Version : Curbing your butts in NYC

08-09-2002, 01:26 PM
NYC Mayor Seeks Tougher Smoking Law
Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to seek a ban on smoking in all New York City bars and restaurants, a Bloomberg administration official said Friday.
The administration is expected to ask the City Council next week to outlaw smoking in the roughly 13,000 establishments not covered by the current anti-smoking law, which permits smoking in bars and in restaurants with fewer than 35 seats.

The mayor has been lobbying council members to approve the expected proposal. He is expected to seek more support by focusing on how bar and restaurant workers are harmed by secondhand smoke.

``If you are a bartender or a waiter or waitress and work in an establishment where there is smoking, in an eight-hour day it's the equivalent of you smoking half a pack of cigarettes yourself,'' Bloomberg told a morning news conference.

The mayor's plan won immediate praise from The American Cancer Society.

``The health impact of this bill is tremendous,'' said Elena Deutsch, the organization's director of Tobacco Control.

In July, the New York State Restaurant Association announced it had dropped its long-standing opposition to the current smoking ban after a survey showed most members were in favor of it.

The association said Friday it would now examine Bloomberg's proposal and poll members about whether they support a total smoking ban.

The association will issue a new position after looking at the results of the survey, said E. Charles Hunt, executive vice president of a local association chapter.

However, another restaurant industry association immediately criticized the proposal.

``We believe that the current law in New York City is working, and any further restriction will cause economic harm,'' Scott Wexler, executive director of the Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association.

Tobacco company Philip Morris was also unhappy, saying the bill ``goes too far.''

Studies by the New York Public Interest Research Group and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo concluded that restaurants haven't been hurt by smoking bans.

Cigarette sales in New York plummeted almost 50 percent in July after the city raised the tax on each pack from 8 cents to $1.50. The new tax, which Bloomberg pushed to help close a record budget gap, drove the price of some name brands to more than $7 per pack.

According to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, at least 394 communities have local ordinances that ban smoking in all restaurants, and 89 have ordinances banning smoking in all free-standing bars.

Statewide, California and Delaware enforce total bans on smoking in bars and restaurants. Three other states - Maine, Utah and Vermont - ban smoking in restaurants but not bars.

08-09-2002, 02:08 PM
Up in Orillia Ontario, Canada the town council passed a new no smoking bylaw. This one applies to Public Places--bars,resaurants & yes pool halls. This happened in June I believe. Talked to one of the pool hall owners who said business was off over 30% in the first month. It's starting to come back a bit & may get back to 100% by Fall. If it doesn't come back a possible way around the bylaw up here would be to become a Club with members who join " the club "for say $10.00 and receive a credit of $10.00 to their table charge. I own a Real Estate Company which has been smoke free for six years but because I hadn't attached their by law decal to my front door the Bylaw Nazis were threatening a fine.

08-09-2002, 02:17 PM
Plan targets restaurant smoke in Dallas

By VICTORIA LOE HICKS / The Dallas Morning News

Nonsmoking sections in Dallas restaurants would have to be smoke-free under a proposal before the City Council.

The measure, drawn up by the city's Environmental Health Commission and presented Tuesday to a council committee, would require restaurants to prevent any smoke from wafting into dining areas designated as nonsmoking.

The law would leave it to restaurant owners to determine how to meet the requirement. The choice of building partitions or installing special ventilation systems would be left to each owner.

"This is a situation where we should help the individual customer know what his choice means that 'nonsmoking' means 'smoke-free,' " said James E. Mitchell, vice chairman of the Environmental Health Commission.

The measure also would require restaurants to make common areas such as waiting rooms, halls and restrooms "as tobacco smoke-free as feasible."
Restaurants built after the law's passage would have to comply immediately. Existing ones would have five years, unless they undertook substantial renovations in the meantime. Bars would not be affected.

Another committee meeting will address the plan, and if it moves forward, a public hearing would take place.

Virtually every member of the council's Health, Youth and Human Services Committee praised the proposal Tuesday, calling it a laudable compromise. Anti-smoking groups dismissed it as too weak, and a spokesman for local restaurants expressed concern that it could give some eating establishments an unfair advantage over others.

"Unfortunately, what is proposed doesn't go far enough to protect the health of Dallas citizens," said Karen Potasznik, chairwoman of the Smoke-Free Dallas Coalition. The coalition produced a parade of speakers in the City Hall lobby including a boy who suffers from asthma to urge a complete ban on smoking in restaurants.

"I ask the Dallas City Council to protect children from secondhand smoke," said 10-year-old asthma sufferer Wyatt Whittington.

Restaurant industry spokesmen took a more neutral stance.

Glen Garey, general counsel for the Texas Restaurant Association, said that although he's not familiar with the specifics of the Dallas proposal, it appears to be in line with the approach favored by the industry.

"We suggest using ventilation standards to meet the needs of smokers and nonsmokers alike," he said.

Mark Czaus, president of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, said his biggest worry was that the law could weigh more heavily on some owners than others.

"Our goal is to make it as level a playing field as possible," he said. "Like the airlines: They're all playing by the same rules."

Council member Lois Finkelman, who leads the council committee responsible for health issues, took the concerns of both sides in stride. "Neither one is overly thrilled, which may mean it's a darned good recommendation," she said.

Dallas' smoking law was written in 1986 and has not been revised. Some North Texas cities have adopted laws more stringent that the Dallas proposal. They include Plano, Arlington and Fort Worth.

In general, Mr. Mitchell said, the tougher laws require specific types of ventilation systems. But he said the Dallas panel preferred to give restaurant owners as much flexibility as possible.

Asked how the new law would be enforced, Mr. Mitchell said the panel did not specifically address that issue. However, he said, tests to measure whether air is moving from smoking to nonsmoking areas are relatively easy to perform and could be incorporated into standard restaurant inspections.

08-09-2002, 03:55 PM
gosh that looks as bad as md. drive 20 minutes to va and it less than 2$, then come back to md and is it almost 5$