The New York City will start implementing its resolute ban on smoking in public places, but the majority of smokers state that they would rather fight against than quit.
A lot of Marlboro men and women state that they will break Mayor Bloomberg’s Smoke Free Air Act, which was approved in February and will come into effect on May 23.
The new law prohibits smoking in beaches, public parks and Brooklyn Heights Promenade, where it will be very soon illicit to light up and walk. Those who infringe the law will have to pay a $50 fine.
“This situation is unfair because we pay $12 or $13 per pack of cigarettes and now we found that there is no place where we could smoke them. But I will risk and continue to smoke in public,” stated Leor Hadar as he smoked on the Boardwalk.
Bloomberg has been pushing the law, underlining the dangers of secondhand smoke, pointing that even slight exposure to cigarette smoke can cause asthma attacks and various respiratory diseases.
According to a research, about 7,500 New Yorkers die annually from cigarette smoke, and a great number of non-smokers have significant levels of nicotine in their blood.
“The evidences are clear, continuous exposure to secondhand smoke whether at home or in public affect your health,” stated Mayor Bloomberg.
“This is silly. Should we now avoid cabs, bases and everything that possesses harm and affects our health? There are a lot of places that do that,” stated Boerum Hill resident Addy Fox.
Several others smokers stated that the city must not urge them to stop smoking, especially in public places.
“Being in a park, you always have the choice to walk away from those who smoker,” said Josh Black.
One more complicated matter is that smoking is not prohibited on state park that means that smokers can light up at East River State Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park when they want.
In 2002 Bloomberg, being a former smoker significantly raised taxes on tobacco products from $0.08 to $1.50 per package. In the following year he removed cigarettes from bars and restaurants.
And last year the state under the Bloomberg’s guidance, increased taxes with an extra $1.60 per package, thus the price of 20 cigarettes is $14.
At the same time Bloomberg donated hundreds of millions to anti-smoking campaigns. Probably the main problem is that a lot of smokers doubt that the city will be able to implement this new law.