It’s now almost illegal to smoke a cigarette in NYC

Talk about a police state.  Having a smoke in the city will now cost you $250. I’m sorry, Mayor Bloomberg, but smoking a cigarette is not a crime. It may be unhealthy, some may even call it disgusting, but it’s definitely not a crime.

The places that are to be affected by this Dictator Mayor are: Times Square, parks, beaches, and boardwalks, pedestrian walkways across the five boroughs, in all parts of Central Park, and along the famous Coney Island boardwalk.

Councilwoman Gale Brewer who introduced the legislation said: “New York is the national leader in creating healthy cities, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.”  I am so glad she is so concerned about my health, but I am a fully-grown adult who is fully aware of the dangers of smoking. It’s my life and I will do with it as I please. And I never smoke around other people — especially children.

The majority of people that visit Times Square are tourists that will not know about the new law. Just a way to boost revenue, I guess. What a great way to treat visitors from other countries; slap them with a ticket from the NYPD.

After all, NYC is so hungry for revenue that the NYPD is issuing tickets to corpses that are hunched over steering wheels. This has happened at least twice:

  1. “Daughter wonders how cops could ticket minivan for weeks – and never notice dad’s decomposing body”
  2. “Traffic agent issues ticket to Queens man who’s already dead, no one realizes until hour later”

If you really wanted to make a somewhat better law, how about going after the people that throw their cigarette butts on the ground? Since the mayor and councilwoman may not understand what I am talking about because they are too busy trying to control everyone else’s lives, this is called littering (N.Y. ADC. LAW § 16-118 : NY Code – Section 16-118: Littering prohibited). It seems like that is what you are trying to accomplish anyway, so why not just enforce a law that you already have?

Remember when this genius Mayor was so concerned about our health that he was trying to ban the amount of salt we could intake?

Suppose you wanted to test the effects of halving the amount of salt in people’s diets. If you were an academic researcher, you’d have to persuade your institutional review board that you had considered the risks and obtained informed consent from the participants.

You might, for instance, take note of a recent clinical trial in which heart patients put on a restricted-sodium diet fared worse than those on a normal diet. In light of new research suggesting that eating salt improves mood and combats depression, you might be alert for psychological effects of the new diet. You might worry that people would react to less-salty food by eating more of it, a trend you could monitor by comparing them with a control group.

But if you are the mayor of New York, no such constraints apply. You can simply announce, as Michael Bloomberg did, that the city is starting a “nationwide initiative” to pressure the food industry and restaurant chains to cut salt intake by half over the next decade. Why bother with consent forms when you can automatically enroll everyone in the experiment?

And have you seen the new organ donor laws that they are trying to pass in New York? You would now no longer own your own body when you die unless you fill out forms saying that you don’t want the state to seize your body parts. Maybe it’s just me but I have a serious problem with the state of NY to presume people want to donate their organs. It’s my body in a free country why would I need to sign paperwork saying that it belongs to me?  Please don’t get me wrong; organ donation is great and saves a lot of lives, but it should be voluntary not mandatory.

Unfortunately, people in NY don’t mind all of their freedoms slowing being taken away from them. So they let someone like Mr. Bloomberg, who makes his own laws, “successfully [campaign] for an amendment to New York City’s term limits law, in order to allow him to run for a third term in 2009” to keep deciding what is good for them. If you ever need to change to a more free state, feel free to join me down in Florida.



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