To smoke or not to smoke outdoor: the New York situation. What’s next?

Outdoor smoking ban comes into effect in New York. As a result, “smokers can no longer legally light up in the city’s public parks, beaches and promenades. Pedestrian plazas are also no smoking zones, including the ones in Times Square and Herald Square”. But, as we find out from the same news, many smokers said that they will ignore this ban, despite the fact that they might receive a $50 fine.

For smokers many countries imposed through the years different restriction. However, these restrictions were often imposed not against the smokers, but to help protect the non smokers. There are still many places in the world that are a smoking paradise. Romania is still one, for instance. One can still smoke, but for instance if you are a non-smoker you have trouble finding a good restaurant with a no smoking area.

Also, as a non-smoker if you simply take a walk, there are big chances to smoke passively – from the people going in the same direction. And it’s a truly great pleasure to have the smoke hitting you, without any possibility of avoiding it, when you have a cold for instance. Your nose and throat will burn you like hell – and here you were outdoors, going somewhere or simply enjoying a walk in the park.

Everyone has rights. Freedom is also for everyone. But wasn’t a definition of freedom stipulating that one’s acts should not affect in a bad way other people?

I must admit that I am all for protecting the non-smokers, for allowing me to go out and breathe the fresh air and not one’s smoke. I also agree that smokers should be able to have some places – including coffee houses or restaurants – where they are able to smoke. But there should be an equilibrium, a balance. A smoker can protest by smoking despite the threat of a fine. A smoker has all the weapons. But what can a non-smoker do? This is why I guess some restrictions for smokers are necessary.

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I’m curious: what do you think about this situation?, about the smoking ban in New York?


I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

4 thoughts on “To smoke or not to smoke outdoor: the New York situation. What’s next?

  • 26 May, 2011 at 16:31

    Hi Lori, well, I am biased of course but i think that people should be allowed to smoke in public spaces outside which are not too confined, where non smokers can exercise their right to move away from the smokers.
    I agree that there should be bars and coffee shops with a space for smokers (or areas within some that can choose to offer this). It sounds like NYC is going too far.

    • 26 May, 2011 at 17:04

      Now, i really have to wonder about the possibility of staying away from the smokers. When walking and simply faced with a cloud of smoke out of the sudden you cannot hide. And sometimes you take 3 steps, and then another smoke cloud from another smoker. I think that the lungs of the non smokers should be better defended. Maybe special places – outdoor – for smoking, but not everywhere…

  • 26 May, 2011 at 16:55

    I’m a non smoker and really wish they would ban it, I hate being on a patio in the summer next to a smoking table.

    • 26 May, 2011 at 17:07

      Yeah, sometimes you choose a table and there is no smoker, and then…

      It’s even worse when trying to find coffee houses or restaurants where they have spaces for non-smokers (and are respected, as in you don’t leave there with your clothes smelling like hell). Unfortunately I have problems in Romania in finding coffee houses with such special places for non-smokers.

      As I mentioned already, I agree that smokers should have places for them too, but I want places where I, as a non smoker, I’m protected.


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