Smoking bans in New York City, Indiana, Raleigh, Texas

Times Square Billboard

New York City this week banned smoking, well, everywhere.

Smoking is now banned at 1,700 city parks and beaches and in pedestrian plazas like Times Square. Needless to say, this was controversial, and the rhetoric ran hot and heavy over civil liberties, but in the end, the city council passed the ordinance by a vote of 36-12.

Good luck getting 7 million New Yorkers to stamp out their cigarettes in Central Park or Times Square, however. 😆

I know part of where smoking bans on beaches comes from is governments’ frustration with the littering. Whenever beach cleanups are done, the No. 1 item volunteers pick up is tons and tons of cigarette butts. Smokers have no one to blame but themselves, in my opinion, for beach smoking bans. If so many of them weren’t litterbugs, the bans wouldn’t have picked up so much steam.

The Indiana House passed a smoking ban, that was watered down somewhat to exclude bars. Indiana is the only state left north of the Mason-Dixon line that has NO smoking ban whatsoever (Pennsylvania has a weak restaurant ban). Indiana is a very Republican state and Republicans tend to loathe new regulations, but this did pass by a 68-31 vote, and smoking bans aren’t quite as partisan as they used to be. This bill, though it is a watered-down ban, has a real chance to pass this year.

Speaking of Republicans.

This poll, funded by the Robert Wood Foundation, found that 70 percent of people in Texas favour a comprehensive smoking ban, including 67 percent of self-identified Republicans. One thing that bodes well for a smoking ban in Texas is several large cities in that state — Houston, Dallas, Austin, Corpus Christi and El Paso — have comprehensive smoking bans, and gosh, the sky really hasn’t fallen. The Smokefree Texas Coalition is backing a statewide ban; this group includes several national and Texas health organizations, including Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation, which is based in Austin. There are two bills in the Texas Legislature, one sponsored by a Democrat and the other sponsored by a Republican.

Raleigh, North Carolina
Speaking of parks.

The centre of the tobacco world, Raleigh, North Carolina, headquarters to Altria (Philip Morris), just banned smoking in city parks. That’s gotta chap those Altria execs!

4 thoughts on “Smoking bans in New York City, Indiana, Raleigh, Texas”

  1. When I was a kid, I was in the Boy Scouts. It used to make me furious when the adults (scout master and assistant scout masters) would make us police the campgrounds picking up butts that THEY threw down.

    I recently had to educate my neighbor on how to “field strip” a cigarette and put the butt in his pocket to throw away when he got to a trash can. I don’t want my yard littered with butts.

    I can’t preach to anyone about smoking because I’ve done it for close to half my life. But there’s nothing more obnoxious than hiking a trail at a state park and seeing butts littered all over the ground.

    I just recently began my quest to rid myself of this awful habit. I’ve promised myself I wouldn’t become one of those nazi, ex-smokers like my father turned into when he quit. (although I probably will.. lol) But I’ve been a nazi about the obnoxious butt littering for years AS a smoker.

    I’d be willing wager money that some of those same guys from my old boy scout troop are as well.

    1. Hi, Ando. Smiley

      Outdoor smoking bans are really controversial, because there’s no evidence that outdoor smoke hurts anyone.

      That being said, cigarette butts really make a mess on state beaches. Smokers have no one to blame but themselves for beach smoking bans. According to the Surfrider Foundation, one-third of the trash picked up on beaches in beach cleanups each year is nothing but cigarette butts.

      1. I don’t doubt it. Most smokers I see think nothing of throwing one on the ground. It takes 2 to 5 years for a cigarette butt to decompose. That’s a long time when you think about it.

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