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Thread: The Smoking Ban

  1. #376
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    To truly make it the American way, shouldn't that be ...

    Choice at a Price?

  2. #377
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Very high taxes on tobacco products in NYC.

  3. #378
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    MTG, it is no choice for me.

    I either got to spend the night in a smoke filled room or I drank alone at home.

    Great choice, eh?

  4. #379
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    ^
    Choose a non-smoking bar. That's the choice. Bar owners should have a choice, and bar patrons should have a choice.
    Marijuana should be legalized and allowed in specified clubs as well.

    We went through a lot of this a couple years ago and I have no interest in rehashing everything. I AM glad that people are starting to approach it more realistically. Let's hope the trend continues.

  5. #380
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidtownGuy View Post
    ^
    Choose a non-smoking bar. That's the choice. Bar owners should have a choice, and bar patrons should have a choice.
    No they don't.

    Tobacco is highly addictive. If ONE member of a group wants to smoke, there is more of a chance that they will all go to a smoking bar than if one does not. That makes a fiscal impetus to pay the extra $$ to get the licensing.

    They TRIED non smoking bars in the past and they failed.

    That leaves me with no choice. Go to a bar and come home smelling of smoke, or staying home. I object to that and doubly object to the premise that this is somehow a choice.

    Marijuana should be legalized and allowed in specified clubs as well.
    Different subject, contributes NOTHING to the conversation.

    We went through a lot of this a couple years ago and I have no interest in rehashing everything. I AM glad that people are starting to approach it more realistically. Let's hope the trend continues.
    I am hoping, and will protest VEHEMENTLY that it does not. You want to smoke, stay home.

  6. #381
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    No they don't.

    Tobacco is highly addictive. If ONE member of a group wants to smoke, there is more of a chance that they will all go to a smoking bar than if one does not. That makes a fiscal impetus to pay the extra $$ to get the licensing.

    They TRIED non smoking bars in the past and they failed.

    That leaves me with no choice. Go to a bar and come home smelling of smoke, or staying home. I object to that and doubly object to the premise that this is somehow a choice.
    None of this refutes what I said. None of it. None of this is new...you made the same points before and THAT's why I said I didn't want to rehash. I thought I would register my comment and you would just respect it, but you want to go through this ALL OVER AGAIN because it is an issue you are totally ballistic about.

    Different subject, contributes NOTHING to the conversation.
    I'll post what I want, thanks. I think it IS part of the issue of smoking and choice. Drop the attitude. Too much fussing over how and what others post here at WNY. YOU and several other forum members need to chill out a little bit in this regard. It forces the rest of us to become mired in BS like the "foreigners" thing you couldn't just drop either.

    I am hoping, and will protest VEHEMENTLY that it does not. You want to smoke, stay home.
    Your protesting+1.50, will get you a cup of coffee.

    I don't smoke cigarettes, but I respect that owners and patrons should have a say in this. I respect freedom of choice and the choices of others. You do not. You can choose which kind of bar or business to enter. Smoking or non-smoking. If so many people feel as intolerant as you, you should have no problem locating a business ready to accommodate your preferences and bursting with people like yourself. Otherwise, open your own establishment or stay home if you can't play nice.

  7. #382
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    /me no reads.

    Yeah whatever.

  8. #383

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    January 3, 2010
    Blowing Smoke at a Ban
    By DOUGLAS QUENQUA

    GIVE credit to the first guy to light up a cigarette inside GoldBar on a recent Saturday night: at least he was pretending to be discreet.

    Between puffs, the smoker, a 30-something man with a tight T-shirt, a gold watch and a gym membership, slyly obscured his cigarette behind the knee-high table that held his $400 bottle of Belvedere, assorted mixers and a pack of Parliaments. In turn, the cocktail waitresses flanking the room — who, at 12:30 a.m., still outnumbered the patrons — pretended not to notice.

    An hour later, there was no longer any need, or attempt, to be discreet. The tiny Lower East Side lounge, where the privilege to spend hundreds on a bottle of liquor is extended only to those fabulous enough to make it past the doormen, was packed and smelled unmistakably of cigarette smoke. One skinny woman in a miniskirt and black leggings perched on the back of a couch and lazily blew smoke at the ceiling; another held a cigarette overhead while dancing.

    Clearly, Mayor Bloomberg didn’t make the guest list.

    Six years after New York City passed a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, it is easier than ever to find smokers partying indoors like it’s 1999, or at least 2002. In November, Eater.com called it “the worst kept secret in New York nightlife” that “smoking is now allowed in numerous nightspots, specifically just about any and every lounge and club with a doorman and a rope.” A few weeks later, GuestofaGuest.com, a blog about New York clubs and bars, posted a “smoker’s guide to N.Y.C. nightlife.”

    “Everyone looks the other way,” said Billy Gray, 25, a reporter for Guest of a Guest, who says that he knows precisely which high-end bars and lounges, most of them in the meatpacking district or Lower East Side, will let him smoke inside. Far from deterring smoking indoors, the ban simply adds an allure to it, said Mr. Gray, a half-pack-a-day smoker.

    “It’s more of an illicit thrill now,” he said. “Like when you were a teenager and snuck a beer in your parents’ basement.”

    Plenty of New York City bars have thumbed their noses at the smoking ban for as long as it has been the law. As early as 2004, The New York Times wrote about neighborhood bars that allowed friends and regulars to light up after closing time. In 2008, at the opening of the Libertine, a Todd English restaurant in the financial district, cigarette girls handed out free smokes that guests consumed liberally.

    But corner bars that tolerate smoking have traditionally relied on flying too far below the radar to be noticed. By contrast, at expensive paparazzi-flanked nightclubs that appear in gossip columns, there seems to be a new brazenness.

    Until the Beatrice Inn — once referred to as “a low-ceiling’d smokehut” by Gawker.com — was padlocked in April amid a flurry of building violations and mounting debt, Kirsten Dunst could be found almost nightly “perched on the counter behind the D.J. booth, smoking cigarettes and bopping her head around to her boyfriend’s tunes,” according to Observer.com, the Web site of The New York Observer. That report appeared in January, just days after the Beatrice received its third smoking citation from the department of health in six weeks.

    Not that you have to be a celebrity. Pat Shea, a 22-year-old student, was smoking inside Avenue — which has hosted the likes of Justin Timberlake and Lindsay Lohan — at 9:30 p.m. on a Tuesday in November. Mr. Shea said he was on his way outside to smoke when a staff member told him not to bother.

    “I asked the busboy where to smoke and he said, ‘Oh, people just light up in here,’ ” Mr. Shea said. “I saw other people do it and then I decided, Why not?”

    On Yelp.com, comments posted by Kimberly K. summed up the thoughts of nonsmokers in an October review of Griffin, another high-end club in the meatpacking district: “I thought you weren’t allowed to smoke in nightclubs anymore,” she wrote. “It seemed anywhere I stood, or sat, the person next to me was lighting up and blowing it in my face.”

    All that smoke hasn’t escaped the attention of the New York City health department. Citations for smoking in bars and restaurants went up 35 percent this summer, to 306 citations compared with 227 for the summer of 2008. In all of 2008 there were 632 violations, compared with 592 in 2007. (Neither Avenue nor Griffin has been cited by the health department for violating the smoking ban, but this reporter, on several visits to Avenue since it opened in June, found people smoking each time. One visit to Griffin in November revealed widespread smoking.)

    Elliott Marcus, an associate commissioner of the health department, said that he knew where the trouble spots were. “It’s these high-end places for people who think that the rules don’t apply to them,” he said.

    The department has increased late-night smoking patrols. Undercover investigators roam the meatpacking district, the Lower East Side and Astoria, Queens, in what Mr. Marcus called a “cat-and-mouse game.”

    There is evidence that smoking bans outside New York City may also be losing their bite. USA Today reported last month that bars in Chicago and Honolulu as well as in Ohio and Virginia were openly defying bans.

    Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have passed smoking bans that affect bars and restaurants. Smoking bans were popular a century ago but were all repealed by the late 1920s, according to Christopher Snowdon, the author of “Velvet Glove, Iron Fist: A History of Anti-Smoking.” Most bans meet the same fate, Mr. Snowdon said: “They usually end with the same kind of passive resistance you see here.”

    “It's just the fact that you have a habit that won’t go away,” he added.

    That is a view shared by many New York City club owners. Eugene Remm, the owner of Tenjune, a club in the meatpacking district that has gained a reputation as smoker-friendly, said his staff always tells patrons to take the smoking outside. The problem, he said, is that they don’t always listen.

    “You tell them to put it out and then 10 minutes later they light up again,” he said.

    Tenjune received a citation for patrons’ smoking in December 2008, but has not been cited in 10 subsequent visits, the health department said. GoldBar has been cited for smoking violations three times in the same period. Jamie Mulholland, the owner, did not respond to requests for comment.

    Many observers, including Mr. Marcus of the health department, blame the club owners for lax enforcement. Bar and restaurant owners were among the most vocal opponents of the ban before it was implemented, arguing that it would drive patrons outside and cut into their drink receipts.

    It stands to reason that owners might be tempted to look the other way when well-paying customers begin lighting up.

    But Noah Tepperberg, who is an owner of Avenue and Marquee, say that is far from the truth.

    “I think you make more money if someone has to go out to smoke,” he said. “They’re going to finish their drink to go outside, then come inside and order another drink.”

    Mr. Tepperberg scoffed at the idea that a busboy at Avenue had given Mr. Shea and his cigarette a green light. “There’s no way a busboy told him he could smoke inside the club,” he said. “Our staff gets fired if we don’t see them doing their job.”

    Mike Satsky, an owner of a new meatpacking-district club called the Provocateur, in the Hotel Gansevoort, acknowledged that some owners did turn a blind eye. He described himself as vehemently antismoking and said he has clashed with business partners on the issue, specifically at Stereo, which closed in 2008.

    “There was a ton of smoking over there,” he said. “Back then I had different partners, and let’s just say not everyone saw eye to eye on the issue.”

    The same can be said of patrons. Amit Nizan, a 28-year-old marketing consultant, complained about friends who had been smoking inside Butter on a Monday night.

    “My throat is scratchy today, and it’s not from anything I did,” she said the next morning.

    Those who have become used to being able to go out without coming home smelling of smoke can take comfort in the words of Mr. Marcus. “Shame on these owners,” he said. “We’re going to pursue them and demonstrate that the rules do apply to everyone.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/fa...03smoking.html

  9. #384
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    NYU Bans Smoking on Public Sidewalks Outside School Buildings

    By Nicole Breskin

    GREENWICH VILLAGE — NYU is stepping up its war on cigarettes by banning smoking on public sidewalks outside school buildings.

    NYU will post notices on campus in the coming weeks about the plan to ban smoking within 15 feet of entrances, exits and air vents of all university buildings, NYU spokesperson John Beckman told DNAinfo.

    The ban will be fully implemented by fall 2010 with campus Public Safety officers and school administrators enforcing the rule.

    “Students have gotten into the habit of smoking right outside the entryways of buildings, especially Bobst Library,” Beckman said. “Based on recent studies and events, we believe it can be dangerous and led us to think we should implement the 15-foot smoking ban across NYU.”

    NYU has already banned smoking in its residence halls in the fall of 2006, and in residence hall courtyards last year.

    The extension of the smoking ban was introduced to students and faculty via a campus-wide email in October with a university-run study attached to gauge reactions. According to NYU, more than 80 percent of students, faculty and staff initially supported the ban.

    But, as the implemenation looms, strong opposition has emerged from the NYU community and Greenwich Village residents, who both believe — albeit for different reasons — that the policy is unjust.

    “I think it’s a terrible idea,” said David Lee, a junior at the university. “Unless the school gives us a room for smoking, which they don’t, I think this is totally unfair.”

    Kelly Callahan, a 19-year-old sophomore at the school, was most concerned about the social aspect to smoking that she’d now be missing out on.
    “It’s a social thing here. People would hang out during cigarette breaks. I’m going to miss that,” she said.

    Meanwhile, Sullivan Street resident Dawn Breen fears the ban could force NYU's smokers to venture around the block and into the neighborhood to light up.

    “I want to open my windows in the spring as it gets warmer,” said Breen, who has a young toddler. “This could become an issue.”

    Her mother-in-law, Sally Breen, who lives on the block chimed in: “I just hope they stay in Washington Square Park.”

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced a policy last summer that prohibits smoking within 15 feet of diagnostic and treatment centers' entrances and exits that first led NYU’s College of Dentistry to adopt the ban in Nov. 2009.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/20100224//nyu...#ixzz0gXWuDRVH

  10. #385
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    What authority do any of those NYU control freaks have over persons who are on publicly owned sidewalks?

  11. #386
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    As much as I hate the blow-in from the outdoor "smoking lounges"

    ban smoking within 15 feet of entrances, exits and air vents of all university buildings
    This is just too prohibitive. What are you going to do, start painting no-smoking lines on the sidewalks?

    Maybe they should think twice before putting Air intakes that close to the ground? They don't put them near the dumpsters, why put them somewhere where this would even BE a problem?

  12. #387
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Those air intakes would suck in more crud from car exhaust than from cigarette smoke. On the other hand, if the intakes have a filtering system to purify the air coming in then wouldn't that also take care of cig fumes?

  13. #388
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Possibly, it also depends on what intake we are talking about. Some, like kitchen vents, may just have a vapor barrier....


    I wonder if they are just doing this so they have a rule on the books they can use to clear out people from the front entrance if it gets to be a problem, not that they want to enforce it everywhere at all times.

    I have seen instances where there are just too many smokers at the door to get by easily, and with no real rule against it, you can't ask them to go somewhere else. I am not saying whether this in itself is right or wrong, but maybe that is what they are after, not campus health as a whole...

  14. #389
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    City Tries to Shut Club It Says Flouts Smoking Ban

    By DIANE CARDWELL

    The Bloomberg administration is moving closer to shutting one of the largest and busiest nightclubs in the city, as part of an aggressive new strategy to revoke the operating licenses of clubs that health officials believe promote smoking.

    The nightclub, the M2 UltraLounge on West 28th Street in Manhattan, went on trial last week at a special administrative court that the city uses when it seeks to take away property. If the case against the club succeeds, it would be the first time the city had closed a business solely for flouting a ban on smoking.

    City officials have also moved to take several other clubs before the court, seeking to revoke their food and beverage licenses. It has been an open secret for years among the late-night set that there is a network of so-called smoke-easies throughout the city, from little neighborhood dives to glossy, exclusive boîtes, that let patrons smoke illegally.

    Health department officials say that the vast majority of businesses comply with the 2002 law forbidding smoking in clubs and bars, but that inspectors have struggled to enforce it at a handful of high-end places that seem to market themselves as smoker-friendly, some even offering loose cigarettes for sale.

    Generally, health officials have looked for signs of active tobacco use as part of their inspections concerning other rules, like those for food safety, and have cited clubs for violations that often result in fines of $200 to $2,000.

    But they have had difficulty gaining access to the clubs when patrons are actually smoking.

    “Some of the clubs where smoking is going on tend to be very, very cool clubs, and a bunch of guys showing up in jackets tend to be very, very uncool,” said Thomas Merrill, general counsel for the health department.

    So in recent months, the department has deputized a team of inspectors — many of them younger and hipper-looking than the stereotypical bureaucrat — to work into the wee hours, posing as patrons and hunting for tolerance of smoking by clubs’ employees.

    Because the inspectors found many instances of patrons smoking without being asked to stop, the department petitioned the administrative court, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, known as OATH, to recommend revoking the food and beverage licenses of 16 bars and clubs.

    “We found places with repeated nights of smoking, with sort of flagrant violations — selling cigarettes, clearly creating an atmosphere in which smoking appeared to be tolerated or even welcomed,” said Daniel Kass, the acting deputy commissioner for environmental health. “Those places are clearly not responding to the idea that we’re going to fine them periodically for violations.”

    Five of the clubs have settled with the city, typically agreeing to devise a plan for correction and to pay for any violations, health officials said.

    In all but one of the cases, if inspectors find indications of continued smoking during the next year, they can immediately shut the club down and bring it to trial.

    Two clubs closed for other reasons, and most of the rest, including the downtown spots Lit Lounge, the Box, Tenjune and Southside, are weighing possible settlements against a looming trial date, city officials said.

    The M2 case has gone the furthest. The administrative law judge hearing the case, Alessandra F. Zorgniotti, will make a ruling that will serve as a recommendation to the health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley.
    In the trial, which could end as early as Thursday, the city has introduced photos of people with cigarette packs on their tables or with burning cigarettes held aloft on the dance floor.

    One inspector testified that a bouncer told her she could smoke in a back area near an exit door; another said he was able to buy a loose cigarette for $2 from a collection of items for sale in the men’s bathroom.

    But lawyers for the club say the city’s case is flawed, arguing that the undercover inspectors could not know whether the staff had tried to get patrons to stop smoking. The club, which has been under new management since July, submitted reports showing that bouncers had ejected at least two patrons for smoking, and Robert Bookman, a lawyer representing M2, said it had fired the two employees who had been selling loose cigarettes in the bathroom.

    “The law is being misconstrued by the health department purposely to make it sound like it’s an automatic violation for a club having a patron smoking on their premises,” Mr. Bookman said. “All the law says is that we have to make a good-faith effort to inform patrons that they were breaking the law, and not with a nod and a wink.”

    He added that investigators had found only a few smokers on each of their visits to the club, which can hold thousands of people. “Not only do the numbers bear out that this is not a smoking lair,” he said, “but it shows that they are in fact doing what they’re supposed to do.”

    Mr. Bookman also criticized the city for not going after the smokers themselves, saying that officials were accusing employees of doing what the inspectors do when they see smoking, “which is not doing anything.”
    Health officials contend that their obligation is to ensure that the clubs they license follow the law, and that cracking down on the clubs is a more effective deterrent. “The entity is the repeat offender,” Mr. Kass said. “On any given night there might be one person, or 2 people or 10 people or even way more than that, who on their own are welcomed to smoke or allowed to smoke, but they’re not necessarily back the next night.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/nyregion/15smoke.html?ref=nyregion

  15. #390
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Although I do not like ANY smoking in clubs, I think that the ones that flout it are in a different league than the small timers that turn a blind eye (especially "after hours", if there are any in NYC).

    It is like BYOB, which I do not think is technically legal.

    Maybe a stipulation could be put on the books allowing a special licence allowing late night smoking? After 2am? Allow the non-smoking majority impunity to go anywhere they want for most of the night w/o smelling like crap, but also allow some establishments (smoking lounges) to have a late night policy that would keep the patrons off the street after a certain hour?


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