Smokers under siege

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Mayor Bloomberg wants New York to go cold Turkey – and he’s already got the city twitching. His proposal would ban smoking in all workplaces, bars and restaurants included. No more hazy clubs in Harlem – no more sophisticates’ stogies in midtown – no more smog-choked cafes in SoHo.

Some say that’s like pulling Vermeer out of the Frick Collection… “this is New York City – we breathe danger every day.” Public health experts are cheering the mayor’s resolve, but many in the bar business argue that second-hand concerns are luxuries in tough economic times.

While smokers hold their breath – the national anti-smoking lobby and big tobacco companies are watching carefully – realizing that a ban in Manhattan will stand as an example across the nation. Smoke signals from Gotham.


David Saltonstall City Hall bureau chief for the New York Daily News

Diane Stover, Chief of pulmonary medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Art Spiegelman, artist, author, and consulting editor of the New Yorker

Kelly Carona, a bartender at “Big Bar” at the Lower East Side

Steven Sherman, a bartender at Houston’s Restaurant, Park Ave New York City.