New York City tries to ban outdoor smoking
September 16th, 2010
11:50 AM ET

New York City tries to ban outdoor smoking

New York City could be inching closer to banning outdoor smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday plans to expand smoking bans outdoors because of the effects of secondhand smoke.

“The science is clear: prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke – whether you’re indoors or out – hurts your health.  Today, we’re doing something about it,” the mayor said in a news release.

Read more about Secondhand smoke exposure 'striking' in the U.S.

A New York councilmember is expected to introduce the new local law tomorrow at the City Council meeting.

Check out this iReport about the ban.

A similar measure in California failed earlier this year that would’ve banned smoking in all state beaches and parks.  The bill was vetoed by cigar aficionado, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

soundoff (589 Responses)
  1. wvcrone

    When the US says...no tobacco will be grown in the US., and the US stops selling tobacco to Europe...I will quit. Not gonna happen, is it? Wonder how much money the wealthy 1% of Americans have invested in tobacco companies?

    September 16, 2010 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Freedom

    Seriously, this is not about health. This is about control, pure and simple. Some people just want to tell others what to do and not to do. My advice – get a pair of kids and indoctrinate them all you want. But please leave us alone.

    2nd hand smoking is questionably dangerous in confined, non-ventilated spaces. They even tested in in submarines and got conflicting evidence. And no, navy research team was not sponsored by Malboro cowboy. And as long as we allow cars w/exhaust pipes, whining about 2nd hand smoking outdoors is what it is – whining.

    Some people are very disgusted with smoking. I understand. It is your choice not to smoke, it is your choice not to be around smokers . But public spaces are meant to be shared. We as society agree on what is outright disgusting (like doing #1 and #2 in public) and ban it. But grey areas – and yes, smoking, selling smelly foods, singing out of key, being ugly, taking up 2/3 of the sidewalk with your fat @$$ – are to be tolerated, not banned.

    Kinda weird how fanatical all the non-smokers are...they are so much better than the rest of the people. Just like before prohibition – drinking is bad, disgusting – lets ban! every doctor was in line...and now some years down the road – a drink a day is actually good for you. Wow.

    So live and let live.

    (no i dont smoke)

    September 16, 2010 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Pepper

    Based on the assumption that 50% of people in the US claim to be smokers, and the other 50% claim (HUGE assumption) to be non-smokers, why aren't the 50% of those who clam to be non-smokers not made to be responsible for decisions regarding their own health? Why are the owners of a private dining establishment who have obtained all of the proper licenses and inspections not allowed to make their own decisions on their particular smoking policies within the boundaries of their private property? If a non-smoker chooses not to patronize a particular establish that allows smoking, then they must make that choice. However, while there is proof that secondary smoking may be hazardous to one's health, why are smokers forced to make their choices based on laws and ordinances targeted at 50% of the general population?

    I certainly wouldn't disagree with certain laws and ordinances; such as urinating in public, which could be a public health risk in general.. However, laws and ordinances that are targeted at a very specific group of the individuals, simply removes those individuals rights to decide on how they manage their own health. Laws and ordinances MUST apply to all members of the public in general. Don't target me, specifically, to local laws and ordinances because I am allowed to smoke, based on public law, Don't forget that the tobacco industry is a huge boost to our GNP, and National economy

    The quandary of how to manage public property such as parks, etc, is much more complicated, but it is not essential that public areas should be restricted to being non-smoking areas. Just like the 50/50 population premise, public areas should be managed on the same 50/50 premise. (By the way, while animal owners are made to clean up after their pets, who cleans up after a police horse befouls a public path or sidewalk in a public park?)


    September 16, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. JohnM

    I see this and I wonder – when will individuals in this country stand up and say to populist politicians – enough already – you do not have the right to encroach on our freedoms. We elected you to govern – govern, but don't grab more power for yourself ...

    Then – lets ban the use of partially hydrogenated cooking oils. We don't want New Yorkers to get that pollutant into their bodies (this is while our water faucets reek when we open the taps sometimes)....

    A little while back Bloomberg and co failed to pass a perfectly sound attempt at reducing pollution in Manhattan – trying to limit the number of motor vehicles that will be allowed onto the island. It failed due to some meddling from Albany.
    Then Bloomberg thought it would be ok to change the laws to allow him to run for mayor of NYC for another term...he managed to pass that change in the law.

    So now this – attempt to prevent people from smoking outside...let's see : smokers are not allowed to smoke at their workplace, nor in public spaces, most New Yorkers live in high rise apartment buildings and cannot / will not smoke in their apartments, but go outside to smoke. I think he has it wrong – he should ban the sale of tobacco on the island altogether... even search vehicles moving onto the island.

    There is something wrong with this picture – individual freedoms removed one by one, this in one of the largest, most cosmopolitan cities in the world.

    This is while sidewalks have mountains of trash bags every night for pickup, rats as big as mules running around.

    Wake up New Yorkers – show the rest of the US that you've had enough of power hungry politicians. Smoker or not – look at this and think where it is leading...take this idea and kick it back to the dark ages when kings ruled and the rest of the people bid their wishes, no matter how ridiculous it was. And don't be fooled by the argument : "but it is good for you to not inhale second hand smoke"... this while literally three lanes of yellow cabs sit and idles in the congested traffic, hour after hour, spewing smoke, and we inhale those toxic fumes. While the water is full of chemicals and hormones and we drink that. While the food is genetically engineered , but no-one speaks of that...and we eat that. Now – let's ban smoking outside...how about that.

    September 16, 2010 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jrad

    Ban smoking outside? Ha, good luck enforcing that one.

    September 16, 2010 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. MichaelEnright

    Wait, muslims can hold traffic by praying on the street, but people can't smoke in public places? Can someone get me my knife and Bloomie's address while I hail a cab?

    September 16, 2010 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. giggity75

    I can see banning smoking inside but outside? Can we ban fat people from going outside in skimpy clothing? That causes stress for me and is bad for my visual environment 🙂

    September 16, 2010 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Susan

    I used to smoke, so I understand the urge and smokers' feelings of somewhat righteousness... however, now that I don't smoke – guys, it really, really stinks. It's just gross. Actually why I quit, not health, not air quality, not whiny people talking about their health. Stinking is enough for me. How about you?

    September 16, 2010 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. JJ Shive

    The rate of overall exposure to tobacco smoke as a component of air in the city, compared to that for the contributions of thousands of vehicles, day and night, is ridicously low. Incidental exposure, at doorways, can be solved by means other than a total outdoor ban. A pipe smoking friend of mine, recently was chastized by a lady in front of a local establishment, for smoking tobacco. He told her it was not, he was smoking medical marijuana. She then apologized profusely, and even told him, that his "marijuana" actually did smell good. The world is going wacko at a rate that is surely amazing and frightening. How does the Mayor proposed to deal with the real problems of NYC, or has he solved all those and we just missed it somehow?

    September 16, 2010 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Lori

    Jesus people, look at the bigger issue here. Take smoking out of the equation – make it say, a ban on outdoor talking. Now do you understand how wrong this is? Enough infringement, already.

    September 16, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. mr.muncheez

    Val, get over yourself! Us smokers have every right to smoke a legal product that we pay out the nose for in taxes. I am a considerate smoker, if I am in a public place, I will talk away to a safe distance where my smoke will not bother anyone. Walking down a busy sidewalk in NYC, well, that's a diff story...you as a non smoker will just have to distance yourself a bit further. Your probably one of those bar chicks that at 4am are quite easy to pick up and whom rarely think about protected sex, but your whining about a little 2nd hand smoke..gimme a break!

    September 16, 2010 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      you don't have the right to give other people cancer with your second hand carcinogen.

      September 16, 2010 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
  12. little by little

    OK ppl know already that smokes that these money hungry businesses make are bad and laced with so many different kind of poisons. it should also be a known fact by now that some ppl are going to smoke whether u like it or not. So that being said....Do something u can do to keep u healthy without interfereing w/ their free will. But in this case....smoking is not the point in this article although its dressed up to be.

    The pt is Free Will and our rights as American citizens. There's a saying that is true in more ways that one, "U give an inch they take a mile." U start giving away ur small rights whether they are healthy or unhealthy pretty soon u are giving absolutely everything away that makes u the person u are. But Americans are blind to that I suppose....Most any way. Because the Majority of ppl in this nation gave up many of our rights already unknowingly, trading freedom for "security". Our government taps our phone lines, ppl who express distain for the inhumanity and the whistleblowers are immediately attacked on psychological and even physical levels, Soliders are treated like dogs by our very own government, Veterans...even worse. We're talking bout a government who allows foods and products that they very well know can kill us into the market, a government that allows the jobs we have to move overseas. A government that is willing to put us into a trillion dollar deficit just to keep us in Iraq and Afgan for the sake of oil.

    We have given up so many rights that are rightfully our own to this government, and now they are going even further into a dictatorship...Telling us how to name our children, telling us even if we can't afford it to get health insurance, telling us how to live our lives and dictating our choices as individuals. Last time I checked the Government didn't own the air, nor the rain that falls from the sky. Yet everyday hundreds of millions of their disel vehicles around the nation pollute the air.....farrrrr more potent than that of a single smoke to even a group of smokers.

    Its always the small things in life that can bring joy and peace or even destroy a relationship even one with the governments of the world. Or Worse. This has gone too far and yet ppl are still willing to give it all up to ppl who don't even give a rats *** bout u.

    September 16, 2010 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. B

    I want to move to New York! I don't understand why everyone talks about smokers' rights. Because I do not pollute the earth my rights are more important than those of a dipsh&* smoker. I have a right to breath fresh air (and don't tell me to stay home if I want fresh air. That's a typical smoker comment) and a right to walk down the street without seeing butts littered everywhere. If smokers were considerate people, then it would not be an issue. Unfortunately, smokers are dirty and gross and therefore we need to have these laws.

    September 16, 2010 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ronald

    I guess Electronic Cigs are going to be big in NY..lets see them ban them its NOT SMOKE crystalecigs.com

    September 16, 2010 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Vicki

    It's easy to support this if you don't smoke, this is just going to open the door to ban other things some of which you may like.
    I'd rather be next to a smoker than someone who stinks from lack of bathing, or someone who constantly farts due to some gross medical condition. I think they should ban everything that emits a foul odor, why just stick to smoking. I don't want to smell baby poop when I pay for a plane ticket, or step in smelly dog crap left around by lazy pet owners. They should ban drinking too, people that smoke too much don't get in their cars and kill people...

    September 16, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Mirnda

    I understand not smoking in a public building.....but there should be designated spots for smokers in such places as parks, beaches and theme parks. Smokers have the right or they should ban it altogether. What's next ban fast food because America can't stop themselves from eating and becoming obese. If you are not a smoker then make sure you do not go near these designated areas. There are bigger problems in this country then people smoking in public. Everyone needs to grow up and look at bigger problems!

    September 16, 2010 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. justin

    thats pretty messed up when the government can impose a law like this. smoking indoors i can understand completely. smoking outdoors? theres a pretty small radius that the smoke has and the smell not much farther. i live on the 3rd story of my building and i can smell it when someone is smoking down below, the smell travels up into our window almost instantly. smoking out in the open cannot cause second hand smoke complications unless the person who is worried about it stands around the smoker breathing fast

    September 16, 2010 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. fajita

    this is AWESOME. i wish my city would do this. i hate having to walk through smoke on my way into stores. the smell gives me a nasty headache.

    i wonder, though, if people will actually follow this. the university i attend is a "smoke free campus" but it's not uncommon to see a student smoking on his/her way to class.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Equalizer

      Awww that's too bad you freaking wimp! Grow some ALL OF YOU NAZI WIMPS! This zeal to BAN anything we find unpleasant is getting ludicrous. Do the research, SECOND HAND SMOKE IS NOT HAZORDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH!

      It has been trumped up and LIED about just so wimps like you could use it to pass further CRAP laws like this! NYC is a foul city of stench anyway!

      September 17, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  19. Rick

    Anti-Smoking NAZI'S remember this

    "They came first for the Communists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up." - Martin Niemöller

    Your day too, will come.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      your day will come sooner due to your lung cancer/heart attack/stroke/COPD/P.E./Ectopic Pregnancies and all the other health problems you will have.

      I'm glad they're doing something, it's about time. Smoking isn't just hazardous to your health, it's hazardous to everyones

      September 16, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudentsAreWetBehindEarsMinnesota

      A med student that didn't take chemistry. How dilute does these harmful carcinogens have to be before they cease being harmful? A primary smoker inhales directly into their lungs more of these 'carcinogens' in one cigarette then a person casually walking along a sidewalk could possibly inhale in a 100 ...perhaps 1000 years. Especially ignorant when you consider the primary smoker will smoke 20-40 cigarettes a day for 20..30..40..50 years.

      Thanks to your taxes, oppression, guilt, false causation, and data extrapolation if not outright lies smoking is at an all-time low and yet cancer rates increase, asthma rates increase and life expectancy is steady. We get you don't like the smell of smoke, we understand you don't like the sight of cigarette butts (even though you won't provide an ashtray), we get that since the civil rights, women's rights, etc... you need someone to feel superior to but enough is enough. You tax us unmercifully, fire us from our jobs, triple our rates of insurance, kick us out of dining and drinking establishments, when will you stop.

      When you sued the tobacco companies and made billions, we were poor victims who were dupped into smoking and were kept adicted by the man. Now you have your money, you use it to persecute us in the name of help. Stop your abusive advertising and start providing nicotine replacement at affordable cost. Most of all stop the lies, risk ratios of chonic exposure to second-hand smoke of spouses of primary smokers (e.g. they lived in a smoke filled house for 20+ years) were only slightly increased for early death 1.6 – I believe when 1.5 is statistically significant. Whereas a similiar study of chronic exposure to vehicle emissions and industrial smog (Los Angeles) turned up a risk ratio of 8.5. If you really care about the health of city dwellers ban carbon-burning vehicles. There has never been a bigger 'scientific ' fiction story in the history science. Where would you find a control population that lived their whole life without casual exposure to second-hand smoke? Without a control population who are you comparing these second-hand smoke victims with? Extrapolation does not prove causation.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:52 | Report abuse |
  20. deuce

    I'm a former smoker, so I'll admit I'm probably a little biased, but this is stupid. Most smokers I know typically go out of their way to avoid getting smoke in other people's faces, we all know it's a dirty habit, we all know that a lot of people don't like it, so we do what we can to minimize other people's exposure to it, but some people just take it way too far.

    There is FAR more toxic crap that you breathe in each and every single day in your own home than the occasional whiff of secondhand smoke you may get walking past a freaking bar or drifting your way at the freaking park.

    Tell you what: they wanna ban smoking out doors? Fine. Let's ban heavy perfume while were at it. Lets ban body odor. Lets ban talking on a freaking cell phone in public. All of those things are constant annoyances for ME, and cause me health concerns due to my negative reaction to them. Let's see how far we can take this, it'll be fun.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Good_Lord_Get_Over_It

      don't forget screaming babies, and gas. they annoy me.

      September 16, 2010 at 22:50 | Report abuse |
  21. Elizabeth

    I was smoking by a store (but far from the entrance) one day waiting to be picked up by my sister. A very large 300 pound woman with her young daughter walked by me and the mother said to her daughter, "Aren't you glad you have a mother who doesn't smoke?" To which I replied loudly, "At least I'm not FAT." Obesity poses more health risks and complications than smoking and is fast taking over as the primary cause of illness and disease in the U.S. Stop harrassing smokers. I am considerate but I do resent the people who purposely walk into my air space and then wave their hands or cough when simply staying on their path rather than wandering into my space would be more appropriate. No, they just want to get their licks in. The anti-smoking campaign is pitting two groups against eachother. Having almost been hit by a drunk driver who fortunately plowed into a fire hydrant 4 feet from me rather than running me over SHOULD rightfully make me rabidly anti-alcohol but, frankly, I'm too mature to pursue that argument. To those strangers who think they are doing me a favor by telling me I should stop smoking, I reply: "Do you drink? Do you drive while intoxicated? Do you take drugs? Do you have unprotected sex? Just checking to see if there is any way I can get into your life just like you got into mine." Makes the point and shuts them up. So, listen, people, live and let live.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      being obese doesn't hurt other's heath. your smoking does. you are supplying everyone else with carcinogens.

      September 16, 2010 at 22:55 | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      Oh yeah your reply to that woman was so mature.............NOT.

      September 17, 2010 at 00:40 | Report abuse |
  22. MedStudentNewYorker

    Well it's about time.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Equalizer

      Hey "MedStudent"...maybe you and "Runner in Virginia" can head up PrezBo's Dept of "We Know What's Best For You". See ya in November you left-wing control freaks!

      September 17, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
  23. jay

    I HATE the smell of cigarette smoke, but I think this goes too far. banning inside is fine as it is a closed space, outdoors is just too far. Smokers can have their place (ie outside or in their homes) and nonsmokers can have theirs (inside the office and in their homes). Yes, I put in their homes under both, people should be free to smoke or not to smoke in their own homes.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      not in outdoor public places. The rights of people to not be exposed to carcinogens goes above the rights of the individual to smoke.

      September 16, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      MedStudentNewYorker wrote: "not in outdoor public places. The rights of people to not be exposed to carcinogens goes above the rights of the individual to smoke."

      By all means, please ban cars, buses, airplanes, trains, power plants and grilled meat.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:39 | Report abuse |
  24. content_pessimist

    Liberals have once again proved that they have a mental disorder.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      Ironically republicans are the ones complaining about healthcare costs. They want to lower healthcare costs and don't want socialized medicine.

      Yet they don't care that smokers contribute a huge portion to the rise in healthcare costs. Every smoker is voluntarily giving themselves lung cancer, COPD, emphysema, stroke, heart attack, ectopic pregnancies and many other problems that the insurance companies pay for. More smokers = higher insurance premiums and that's a fact.

      you're also paying for their medicare bills as well.

      September 16, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudentsAreWetBehindEarsMinnesota

      Once again another falicy from the textbooks. Primary chronic smokers do damage their lungs and expose themselves to carcinogens. They do have lower life expectancy than non-smokers. However, this is not more expensive. If tobacco never existed the leading causes of death of humans would be the same. Everyone dies of mostly cancer or cardiovascular disease, it is inevitable. No one in history has ever been proven immortal and dying is expensive. The cost of a protracted case of COPD or lung cancer is sizable. However, so is colon ca or breast ca or liver ca or renal failure. The textbooks will tell you smokers cost society because they are prone to diseases that cost money and that would be true if you would be immortal had you not smoked (which is how they conducted their 'studies') but the facts are that the effect from smoking is not that you die of a unique and expensive disease but rather that your death is expedited. This saves money for society. A person with alzheimer's for 25 years is far more expensive than a person who has a smoke-induced sudden heart attack at 55. Don't get me wrong, my premise is that smokers are not more expensive and that our wonderful government could be using the our tobacco settlement money and our tax money to help people who need help regardless of whether they are 55 and sick from smoking, 55 and sick from drinking, 55 with diabetes and obesity, 24 with a genetic predisposition to hypercholesterolemia, or 105 with chronic alzheimers. There are real problems, and real people who need help without making up crap about 0.00000001 part per billion of secondhand smoke on 3rd street.

      September 17, 2010 at 00:21 | Report abuse |
  25. Good_Lord_Get_Over_It

    Fine... it's a public place. I won't smoke to protect your health, and I think we should apply this line of thought to everything in a public space. For example, your screaming kid is a nuisance, and hurting my hearing. So, I don't think you should bring your screaming baby out in public. Your dog is a nuisance with its barking, and pooping... don't bring it out in public either. Your yacking on your mobile phone... is a nuisance... Please don't talk on your phone in public...


    September 16, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      nuisance does not equal cancer. Second hand smoke is a carcinogen and asthmatic. Crying babies and barking dogs are nuisances

      if you don't get this no wonder you don't have the intelligence to not smoke.

      September 16, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      MedStudentNewYorker, we have the right to make stupid decisions in the US. You may not like that – you live in New York, so you're probably an ornery so and so – but that's our right. I don't smoke, but I respect the rights of people to smoke if they wish.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:00 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      you have the right to make stupid decisions as long as they don't hurt others

      what part of second hand do you not understand? It's proven second hand smoke causes cancer and asthma. You do not have the right to give other people cancer. period.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • sameeker

      Cell phones emit cancer causing microwaves. Junk food causes drivers to have heart attacks behind teh wheel. PC people get us into physically harmful fights and wars. I say we ban the whiners.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      cell phones are only dangerous to the person holding it. junk food is only dangerous to the person eating it.

      smoking is dangerous to everyone around you.

      No one cares if you get lung cancer from your own stupidity trust me. we only care that others are now getting lung cancer earlier, who don't smoke, because of being exposed so much to second hand smoke.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      MedStudentNewYorker wrote: "cell phones are only dangerous to the person holding it."

      Not true. They can spark or explode. Imagine that around gasoline. Say...isn't gasoline a carcinogen? Isn't motor oil a carcinogen?

      September 16, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      Smoking is not a simple nuisance, it's a health issue, what the hell is wrong with you?

      September 17, 2010 at 00:42 | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Hey MedStudent.......I don't drive......I don't wanna smell yer car exhaust....its bad for my health.....ban cars from the road!!!! When does it end???

      September 17, 2010 at 06:11 | Report abuse |
  26. Eddi

    Sounds like they are trying to re-introduce prohibition. I am not a smoker and I cannot stand cigarette smoke; but, even I can admit that this is going way to far. Doesn't Bloomberg have something better to do?

    You get more toxins, just waiting for the bus. Maybe Bloomberg should ban all motorized vehicles, while he is at it. Electric vehicles only.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      why do you think new york requires an annual emissions test to pass inspection....

      September 16, 2010 at 23:08 | Report abuse |
  27. sameeker

    I'm so tired of being pushed around by the minority. What if we treated an ethnic group the way smokers are treated today? Oh yes, I forgot teh jim crow days. As for you whiners – don't EVER complain about smoking untill you get rid of your vehicle and quit wearing perfume and coglone that can trigger sathema attacks.

    September 16, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      perfumes and cars don't trigger CANCER

      September 16, 2010 at 22:54 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      MedStudentNewYorker wrote: "perfumes and cars don't trigger CANCER"

      What are the emissions of automobiles? Are you sure they don't?

      September 16, 2010 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      yes steven. we now have emissions laws. you know that new york state inspection you get every year?

      it's to make sure your emissions levels are safe enough that they aren't hurting others.

      your smoking is causing other people's cancer. we can regulate it just like we regulate car emissions. I say good riddance.

      September 16, 2010 at 22:59 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      "it's to make sure your emissions levels are safe enough that they aren't hurting others."

      Great. That means we never have to worry about it because the gubment says so.

      Do you hear yourself?

      September 16, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • sameeker

      Cars are destroying teh entire planet, even in countries that never heard of smoking. This is all just overblown hype from the insurance companies and teh lawyers.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      what are you talking about you make absolutely no sense.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse |
    • sameeker

      I can dumb it down for you med student. Cars are contributing to global warming. Smokers are not. Cars are far more dangerous to everybody. The insurance and medical industries want everyone to quit smoking. Will they then lower their prices? No they wont. They will just make bigger profits. Remember that the hype over smoking was started by the state and federal governments who made billions from the tobacco settlement. By the way, as part of the settlement, private people could no longer sue. Don't tell me for a second that government cares about the people.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      Hopefully, that is a distillation he can understand sameeker.

      Government _is_ big business, isn't it? They have their interests too...and you've pointed out how _their_ interest may not be ours.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:43 | Report abuse |
  28. Steven P

    Unreal. What are the elected officials thinking?

    September 16, 2010 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      they're thinking lets clean up the city and get rid of the dirty smokers?

      September 16, 2010 at 22:59 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      I wish you would get rid of the knuckleheads in NY. You have some pretty rude folks there.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:02 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      since you say there I guess that means you don't live there.

      so why do you care if we vote to keep the smokers out? go live somewhere else and have a cancer party.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:05 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      MedStudentNewYorker wrote: "since you say there I guess that means you don't live there.

      so why do you care if we vote to keep the smokers out? go live somewhere else and have a cancer party."

      You assume I smoke since I support the right to smoke if you so choose. You are wrong. Not my business if you guys paint yourselves with day-glo and dance naked in the streets. Of course, day-glo is probably carcinogenic. However, I opine because I see New York again pushing the envelope to infringe rights to my fellow US citizens. That, sir, is worthy of comment. I could care less if you continue to figuratively defecate in the bed in which you sleep; that is your business. Until it infringes another persons rights.

      Breathing the air in New York is carcinogenic relative to many other cities. Maybe Albany should ban what you do to your air.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
  29. hughmungus

    This just in... New York City has just banned "fun". Bloomberg says you may hurt yourself...

    September 16, 2010 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Scott Shaubel

    – it's the poison they add to the tobacco that is the problem, not the natural tobacco. I smoke 2 packs a day, and have for 40 years.
    I challenge any 53 year old to a lung, fitness, or any kind of test, regarding health or brains. I will win. The science is twisted, and I can prove it.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      actually regular tobacco is a carcinogen too. Not as bad as the cigarette though, not even close.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      Don't brag too much, you may drop dead tomorrow.

      September 17, 2010 at 00:45 | Report abuse |
  31. YADPOI

    First of all, the "Second hand smoke story" doesn't fly. They have done test for people who claim that they tested postive for pot from second hand smoke, the was done very carefully. Subjects were locked in a room FILLED with pot smoke for 24 hours and then tested and DIDN"T pick up enough contaminents to register high enough to fail the urine analysis test. But thats ok. Six months after all the smokers in NY quit smoking, NY will be broke from a lack of tax income. Here in Ga we pay $4.50 per pack, in NY its $11.00 per pack. Hope this CHANGE works for all you bleeding heart loser DUMOCRATS.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steven P

      That state is a tax levying machine.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse |
  32. sameeker

    Let's not forget that this is the city that said it was ok to build a victory mosque near ground zero. And I thought New Yorkers were so sophisticated. Ha Ha

    September 16, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudentNewYorker

      ah so you're a racist too.

      I hope you smoke some extra packs a day, get cancer earlier.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:09 | Report abuse |
  33. Paul C

    Out of all the stuff that they could be dealing with, that need to be dealt with.............and Mikey picks this?

    September 16, 2010 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Scott Shaubel

    New York City Battered by Fierce Storm 1 Dead Tornado warning issued sept 16 2010 .. more to come,..
    Canada's prince of pot gets 5 years for selling seeds. Hemp is Gods Plant, so is tobacco, hemp is natural,.. USA is not.
    Mother Nature speaks volumes.. haha

    September 16, 2010 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Paul C

    Hey, I also hear overcooking your steaks could cause cancer.....and while we're at it, let's also ban Red Door perfume...I hate the smell of that stuff....and every time I walk out in public, some lady is walking by me and forcing me to breath it in! If I try to get away from it, I invariably end up walking right next to a lady wearing Chanel, which is also exceptionally noxious and just as dangerous to my health! I can't wait for our Mayor and City Council to get all of this nasty stuff out of our, er MY, air so I can breathe, breathe, breathe!!!!!!

    September 16, 2010 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. kevin

    WOW! u ppl are so overeacting! Second hand smoke-gimme a break.i am not a smoker, but wats the big deal?!?! Smokers have as much as rights as non-smokers do. They paid for it, so why not let them smoke it? well, not in public of course, but still?

    September 16, 2010 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Nick in Philly

    I agree with banning smoking in public, outside or inside. I also believe in legalizing all "illegal" drugs. Let people do what they want, even if it's killing them, as long as it's in the confines of their own home or a place that supports that type of thing. Just don't infringe on my right to breathe clean air.

    And please stop with the comparisons to alcohol and fatty foods. A person consuming alcohol or trans-fats does not directly effect MY health, so that's a personal choice. And yes, alcohol could indirectly effect my health if someone wants to drink and drive, which is why there's a law against that already.

    Bans are good as long as they don't effect our personal freedoms. Keep in mind that if something that you view as a personal freedom infringes upon someone else's personal freedom, it's really NOT your right to do it (in public).

    September 16, 2010 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ituri

      Its also not your right to target a minority you simply don't LIKE. There is no data available that says smoking in a clear outdoor environment harms anyone else. Its inside that counts, and near doorways. You're talking PARKS. A man watching his kids playing from the picnic basket can't enjoy a smoke because somehow that smoke is going to magic into someone elses picnic? Its absurd to take these things so far. You already got the important part, being indoor bans, now leave smokers alone already. This is turning into senseless villification.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:23 | Report abuse |
    • Someone Somewhere

      Oh, so when I say its my opinion that you are a sanctimonious self centered arrogant liberal A S S while exercising my FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH if you take offense to it, I aint allowed to do it??? You are a two faced hypocrit jack.... just like all the rest of the Nobama fans out there... As long as it doesn't affect you, its good, if it does, its bad... Dont come crawling to us cigarette smoking, gun toting, combat serving, survivalist Americans when it all goes down the toilet, cause we dang sure dont want your kind around us...

      September 16, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
    • Nick in Philly

      To Someone Somewhere: Your right to free speech doesn't affect my health, so you can say and type whatever you want.

      And in the spirit of free speech, let me say that after reading your various posts, I can surmise that you're an uneducated piece of trailer-park garbage that isn't capable of rational debate. So I'll read your comments for what their worth: entertainment. Thanks!

      September 16, 2010 at 23:43 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      Nick in Philly wrote: "Bans are good as long as they don't effect our personal freedoms. Keep in mind that if something that you view as a personal freedom infringes upon someone else's personal freedom, it's really NOT your right to do it (in public)."

      Please remember _that_ the next time you go to a bar that used to allow smoking. That business may have wanted to cater to smokers. Don't want to breathe that? I don't blame you; neither do I. Don't go there; don't make them change their business model.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
    • Nick in Philly

      Steven P: Agreed. No argument here on that point. If it's your business, and children are not permitted in your facility, then I agree the government shouldn't tell you how to run your business.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:56 | Report abuse |
  38. content_pessimist

    Liberals are only FOR the freedoms of minorities or terrorist organizations.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ituri

      Turning this into a politically polarized discussion is inherently a failure from the start. ALL political parties take too many extremes. At least this one is *supposidly* for the health of others, though I doubt thats true outdoors myself.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
  39. Ituri

    Show me ONE study that says smoking in an open, outdoor environment physically harms someone else. Can't do it, because they don't exist.

    This "hang the smokers" attitude is getting really overdone. Bars and restaurants, probably good thing to ban. Government offices and indoor buildings? Yeah, indoor anywhere is not good for smoking.

    But PARKS? What nonsense. I'm not even a smoker, and the level of social villification and overdramatizing peeves me off...

    September 16, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick in Philly

      It's not nonsense. Second hand smoke is dangerous, and it stinks too. It should be banned in all public places. Let people kill themselves in private, whether it's their home, or someone else's home who's ok with it, or at a private club/venue. If it's public, and if it's hazardous to your health, it should be banned.

      It's kind of like someone relieving themselves in public: it's a public health hazard, and it stinks too, so it's illegal.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse |
  40. nyn8vinmt

    Smokers know that they stink. In the dead of winter, or when it is pouring rain they will drive with their windows open so they won't stink themselves out of their own cars. OSHA has regulations for smoking in the work place that cover how far away from doors and windows smokers are allowed to smoke, and most employers don't enforce those safety mandates.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Michael

    Will Bloomberg ban motor vehicles in the city too? My guess is all the cars emit more carbon monoxide and other toxins than smoker do.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. sameeker

    So let's all quit smoking, eating junk food, playing dangerous sports, drinking beer and anything else that the panseys don't like and what will be the end result. – WE STILL DIE! I guess the only difference is that we look good in our casket.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick in Philly

      Dieing from a smoking related illness is the WORST. It's a slow, painful death. I've seen it firsthand several time. I'd rather die from a major heart-attack, or getting hit by a bus.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:32 | Report abuse |
  43. JJ

    Second hand smoke, if anyone didn't notice, is extremely detrimental to one's health. Walking behind a smoker can cause extreme discomfort, and if one walks close to smokers for any extended period of time, they can become addicted themselves. Therefore, it is extremely advisable for a nonsmoker to avoid the streets until such ordinances are passed to protect public health, and for the meantime, I would suggest hasting to a vehicle. Whilst in the vehicle, you can be assured that your health and well-being is protected, and no harm, whatsoever, will befall you, nor any others who may be driving or walking the sidewalks.

    After have been in your car and clear of any smoke or danger, you can proceed down to your local McDonalds and grab a #1 (big mac combo), and eat your healthy and hearty meal in comfort – soaking in safety and good health, once more.

    Once leaving, after that delicious and healthy hamburger, you can go out to the smoke-free bars and enjoy a few drinks with your friend. Here, you can indulge into spending $40 on your favorite tap, and at the same time, be improving your driving abilities. You will indeed enjoy your harmless socialization, all while having no particular concerns of your health or drive home. You have become safe, and no harm will befall you nor others. Enjoy.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Someone Somewhere

    The fumes emitted by diesel buses within the city along with the cars, power generation, and other human production FAR out distance cigarettes when it comes to producing carbon monoxide... You know that HAZE that hangs over the city ALL THE TIME?? Guess what its made of..... go on.. guess... it's not cigarette smoke lemme tell ya.....Only in NY or Californication could something like this get anywhere near passed.....

    September 16, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rjlanning

    Let's settle this with science. You run your SUV in a garage with the door closed. I'll be in an identical garage with someone chain-smoking. Two hours later, we open the garage doors. Whichever one of us walks out alive wins.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick in Philly

      The difference is that we need vehicles in our society in order to live in today's world. We depend on them. Cigarettes do nothing positive for society. They might satisfy an addiction for some people and make them feel good for 5 minutes, but as far as society in general, their influence is 100% negative.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:35 | Report abuse |
    • rjlanning

      Seriously? You need a gas-guzzling SUV in order to survive? I'm sorry. I didn't realize that mass transit would be so deadly. The percentage of people who smoke is insignicant compared to the number of people who drive gas hogs. If you really cared about the environment you would be lobbying for hybrid, electric, and mass transit only zones within our urban areas. Otherwise, your just giving lip service.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:45 | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      Nick in Philly wrote: "The difference is that we need vehicles in our society in order to live in today's world. We depend on them. Cigarettes do nothing positive for society."

      Do you hear yourself?

      September 16, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
    • Nick in Philly

      I actually agree with you. If I could afford a hybrid or electric, I would buy one. But for most people who are on any kind of a budget, that's not a choice. We have to keep driving our regular cars and SUV's to get to work.

      Then again, I don't think your point has any relevance to the proposed smoking ban.

      September 16, 2010 at 23:52 | Report abuse |
    • D_Seattle

      Amen! Love your post

      September 16, 2010 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Nick – you got it right. Smokers will draw whatever LOOSE analogy they can to justify their addicition. Sounds like something addicts do, doesn't it?

      September 16, 2010 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
    • rjlanning

      Johnny, EVERYONE (including you) is addicted to something. The point I'm making is that YOU will always find a way to bag on other people's addictions while justifying your own. Whether your justifying your need to drive a Mustang, eat cheeseburgers, not wear a condom and spread disease, or whatever your personal favorite might be. You can claim that yours don't effect other people, but they do. Eating fast food causes health problems, which cause MY insurance rates to go up and my coverage to go down. Your SUV that makes you feel good about yourself puts out more pollution than my cigarettes. And yes, my cigarettes effect those things too. The difference is that I don't have any desire to ban your vices.

      September 17, 2010 at 00:12 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      RJ -AGAIN, another idiot smoker conflating fast food, cars, with the IMMEDIATE HEALTH HAZARD of second hand smoke. There is a DISTINCT difference between indulging in fast food, driving an SUV, etc. and a CHEMICAL ADDICTION.

      September 17, 2010 at 00:34 | Report abuse |
    • rjlanning

      Thank you, Johnny. Your defensive reply that sunk to the level of name calling just proved my point. I will put my IQ up against yours any day. 🙂

      September 17, 2010 at 00:41 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      RJ – nothing "defensive" in my response. You are the one on the defensive, here, pig pen.

      September 17, 2010 at 00:46 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      wow, you obviously have not understanding of this. Car exhaust contains lots of carbon monoxide, which binds to you lungs preventing you from breathing. Cigarettes contain tons of carcinogens that will give you cancer. Low amounts of carbon monoxide and your fine. Carcinogens BUILD UP in your system increasing your risk of cancer.

      September 17, 2010 at 01:10 | Report abuse |
    • rjlanning

      You can always tell the defensive one by the poorly educated, knee jerk reaction of resorting to epithets (psst...that means name calling). But I digress, Here are the numbers put out by NON-SMOKING agenies (ther reporting methods are questionable, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt): Second-hand related deaths per year = 53,000. Now here are the numbers put out by the CDC, the Dept. of Health, and the DMV: Dietary-related deaths per year = 365,000. Alcohol-related deaths per year = 95,000. Vehicular (non-alcohol-related) deaths per year = 43,000. Deaths from sexually transmitted diseases per year = 20,000. Firearm-related deaths per year = 29,000. You claim that second-hand smoke is an "IMMEDIATE HEALTH HAZARD." This is simply hyperbole. The effects (which I agree are real) are accumulative and require years of long term exposure. Getting hit by a drunk driver, on the other hand, only takes one time and happens almost twice as often..

      September 17, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse |
    • rjlanning

      Ryan, Carbon Monoxide is only one of the chemicals found in car exhaust. Car exhaust does contain copious amounts of carcinogens. Here is the official is the list and their effects:

      Chemicals in car exhaust
      Car exhaust is a source of carbon dioxide and this component tends to get most of the coverage these days, but there's a whole bunch of nasty toxic chemicals in car exhaust that damage our environment. Let's take a look at a few.

      Carbon Monoxide

      Colorless, odorless, tasteless, yet highly toxic. Automobile and industrial emissions may also contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming; it's one of the other greenhouse gases we don't usually hear much about. It occurs naturally in our atmosphere at around 0.1 ppm, but car exhaust without a catalytic converter contains 7,000 parts per million.

      Nitrogen dioxide

      Toxic by inhalation and can cause adverse health effects at low levels over a long period. It can contribute to acid rain and eutrophication in coastal waters.

      Sulfur dioxide

      Can cause pulmonary and respiratory distress and acidification of waterways.

      Particulate matter

      This is basically soot – it's most apparent effect is reducing visibility. It impacts on breathing and respiratory systems, damages lung tissues and causes cancer. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people and animals die prematurely each year due to the health effects of inhaling particulate matter.


      A carcinogen in humans, benzene is also very toxic aquatic life and can cause death in plants. It is a "precursor" component for formation of photochemical smog.


      Another known carcinogen for humans, with similar effects to many animals and birds. In an aquatic environment, formaldehyde has a half life of between a day and ten days.

      Polycyclic hydrocarbons

      The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that some Polycyclic hydrocarbons are carcinogens in humans and animals and can cause harmful effects on skin and the auto-immune system.

      Some recent studies have also found car exhaust can create hydrocarbon-based free radicals which can linger indefinitely. These free radicals are believed to cause lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Even with the use of catalytic converters to help break down pollutants that cause smog, it may be creating conditions for the creation of these free radicals to form.

      September 17, 2010 at 02:13 | Report abuse |
  46. Halide

    The tyranny of the majority.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Mark

    Rutland, Vermont's board of alderman just recently passed a smoking ban for city parks. I think its a bit too much but I'm not a smoker so I don't really care.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steven P

      And when they pass a law that affects what you enjoy? How will you feel then?

      September 16, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Easy Steven, I take it like a man and continue to live my life. I'm not going to spend my life constantly complaining. I may disagree with opinions, actions, and laws but life is to short to spend it moaning and whining about things like this.

      The economy, war, energy, health care, and education are actual issues worth putting discussion towards, not a little ridiculous law about being able to smoke in a park. Lets get a little focus here people!

      September 17, 2010 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
  48. Edward

    This is all about politics and who is paying the polititans. Where is my Liberty if I can't light a cigarette in great outdoors of this country of mine? The government is going to tell me that I can not smoke in the outside now? That there is even a discussion on this is insane. Terrorist will be the least of our problems in NY if this goes into law. No wonder there are so many expats!

    September 16, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. mattmchugh

    I love smokers. Bulletproof source of tax revenue. $10 a pack? They'll pay it. Yeah, you know you will, you nicotine-bee-yotches! You're almost as good at bailing out state budgets as the lottery. Thank heaven for the predictability of addicts!

    September 16, 2010 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. jesse

    the bars were understandable but this is absurd and is unbelievable. just can't allow public outdoor places to be taken hostage. our personal rights are disappearing and this is thoroughly troubling.

    September 16, 2010 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

September 2010
  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.