This week marked the 10th anniversary of the Smoke Free Act enacted to protect the health of all New Yorkers. A main consequence of the ban on smoking inside bars and restaurants is that there are fewer premature deaths from diseases related to tobacco, as well as disease symptoms aggravated by second hand smoke. Mayor Bloomberg believes that 10,000 lives were saved due to the ban.
The ban made all establishments and businesses with employees smoke-free including:
• All office buildings, factories, and warehouses.
• All private offices and previously designated “smoking lounges.”
• All food service establishments, restaurants, and catering halls.
• All bars, including bars in restaurants.
• Membership associations.
• All areas of theatres.
• Banks, educational and health care facilities, and child day care centers.
• Shopping malls and retail stores (where goods are sold or rented to the public).
• Sports arenas, roller and ice skating rinks, billiard parlors, bingo halls and similar places.
• Public transportation facilities, reception areas, platforms and waiting rooms.
There are a whole plethora of disease conditions aggravated by second hand smoke. These diseases include asthma, iritis, deviated septum, bronchitis, thalassemia vera and many others.
Tha ban essentially made smoking socially unacceptable. Initially store owners believed that the smoke ban would hurt business. Quite the contrary turned out to be the case. Finally, a person could walk into a restaurant and see the other end; whereby, previously you could hardly see more
than a few feet ahead of you.
Currently, Mayor Bloomberg is seeking to create a minimum price for cigarettes and prohibiting groceries from openly displaying cigarettes on shelves highly visible to the general public. Currently, the price of a pack of cigarettes in NYC is approaching $13.00 a pack.
Over time, the smoking ban should help to reduce the cost of programs like Medicaid since fewer hospitalizations for lung-related diseases are expected.
Credits: First Published on Blogcritics