Smoking Ban, Breathing Regulations Signed Into LawWell, not exactly.
DECEMBER 30TH, 2002
Bills to ban smoking and unnecessary breathing at New York City bars and restaurants were both signed into law Monday.
“This law does not legislate morality,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who pushed for the legislation as a worker health issue, said as he signed the bill at City Hall. “This law does not take away anyone's rights. Anyone important, anyway. This law allows important working people to earn a living in a safe workplace so they can provide for their families. Their children. The ban on unnecessary breathing in bars is important to keep oxygen in the air, which is necessary for all life. If we didn't do this, the terrorists would have won. And did I mention it's for the working children?”
The ban will take effect March 30, barring people from lighting up or panting heavily at virtually every bar, club and restaurant in the five boroughs. Violators will face fines from $200 to $400, or even life in prison, the foul swine.
“We hope and believe that this bill will not have a negative effect on businesses and will not be used as a tool to punish nightlife or bars or restaurants or anyone else who is doing legitimate business and making sure that their employees are safe," said City Council Speaker Gifford Miller. "I don't see why anyone would think this would affect any law-abiding business negatively. Nobody likes vile smokers and heavy breathers. But punishing people is so punitive. We hate to do it unless we must."
Exemptions to the ban include the city's seven existing cigar bars, sidewalk cafes with special outdoor smoking areas and bars willing to build separate smoking rooms with their own ventilation systems. In addition, establishments with no employees other than the owners or private clubs where only members work may still allow smoking. Heavy breathing will be allowing in gyms, sporting establishments, and other businesses that build special oxygen-enhanced rooms. Also people will be allowed to breath freely in their own homes, for now.
“I am confident that New York City will establish a new reputation as the smoke-free, easy-breathing capital of commerce, fine dining, nightlife, entertainment and tourism,” said Donald Distasio, the CEO of the American Cancer Society. “For as long as I can remember, this moment has been a dream of ours.”
"I, too, am confident that New York City will boom, now that we have bravely tackled the breathing problem," said Gloria Busybee, spokesperson for the American Oxygen For Children campaign. "From now on, the city sends a clear message: nobody has the right to breathe unless we say so!”
Egad. Smoking Ban Signed Into Law