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Albany Deal Would Raise Hospital Pay - January 16, 2002
         By James C. McKinley Jr.

         ALBANY, Jan. 15 — After an all-night bargaining session, Gov.
         George E. Pataki and the leaders of the Senate and Assembly reached
         an agreement today on a health care bill that would provide $1.8 billion for
         salary increases for thousands of hospital workers over three years. The
         money would also pay for recruiting more workers.

         But the plan hinges on spending a $1.1 billion windfall to the state from the
         conversion of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield into a for-profit company.
         The state would also pay for the plan by raising the tax on cigarettes to
         $1.50 a pack, from $1.11. In addition, the bill relies on Congress to increase
         the federal share of Medicaid payments to raise $2.1 billion over three years,
         which is considered a long shot, at best.

Mayor's Budget Calls for Cuts in Almost
         Every City Agency - February 14, 2002
         By Michael Cooper

         In the first budget plan of his mayoralty, he also proposed raising the
         cigarette tax by $1.42 a pack and borrowing $1.5 billion to close the gap.

         And it calls for raising the cigarette tax to $1.50 a pack from
         8 cents. A pack of cigarettes now costs about $5, with the tax.

         That would generate $250 million in new revenue and, he said, discourage
         smoking. "The numbers are clear: you raise cigarette taxes, the kids smoke
         less," Mr. Bloomberg said.

Commissioner Calls Smoking Public Health
       Enemy No. 1 - February 15, 2002
         By Jennifer Steinhauer

         A day after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he would seek a
         significant increase in the cigarette tax but dismantle the City Health
         Department's smoking cessation program, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the health
         commissioner, said yesterday that his main priority would be to combat
         smoking in the city, perhaps using money from companies that make
         products to help smokers quit.

Mayor Says Police Officers Should Obey
       Smoking Rule - February 16, 2002
         By Al Baker

         Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg sternly pledged yesterday to stop city
         employees from smoking in public buildings — even if those
         employees happen to be police officers.

Cigarette Tax Would Cost State Millions, Critic Says - March 2, 2002
         By Shaila K. Dewan

         Topping the list of things Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is asking for from Albany this year is permission
         to raise the cigarette tax to $1.50 a pack, a budget-balancing measure that the city is touting as
         pain-free for the state. But one budget critic, citing the city's own estimates, says the measure could
         cost the state more than $200 million in lost revenue.

        According to the city's estimates, the tax increase would raise $249 million even as it caused sales to
        drop by 165 million packs, or nearly 50 percent. That would cost the state, which also taxes cigarettes,
        $247.5 million; the loss could be partly made up if people went to other parts of the state, instead of,
        say, New Jersey, to buy their cigarettes.

        "It illustrates the folly of simultaneously treating tobacco as a public health nuisance and a public
        finance treasure chest," said E. J. McMahon, a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative
        research group.

Co-op Board Bans Smoking in Apartments by New Owners - April 30, 2002
         By Dennis Hevesi

          A co-op board on the West Side of Manhattan has forbidden new buyers
          to smoke in their apartments, a restriction that real estate experts called the
          first of its kind in the nation.

          The board of 180 West End Avenue, a 452-unit building near Lincoln Center,
           is also requiring the buyers to declare whether they are smokers, an admission
           that could lead to the rejection of their applications.

           The rule will not be applied retroactively, and current owners will still have the right to
           allow tobacco smoking in their homes. The new rule at the 29-story building does not
           affect the seven other separate cooperatives in the complex between 66th and 70th
           Streets, known as Lincoln Towers.

A Changed Debate on Smoking Restrictions - June 1, 2002
        By Shaila K. Dewan

        ALBANY, May 31 — The State Senate plans to vote for the first time on a law that would ban
        smoking in restaurants statewide, except in bar areas and separately ventilated smoking rooms,
        said John McArdle, a spokesman for the Senate Republican majority.

        The bill that reaches the Senate floor, however, may be less strict than a measure the Assembly passed
        this week. Some Republicans have raised concerns about how much business owners would have to
        spend to comply with new regulations.

A School With Ashtrays, but No Students - June 17, 2002
        By Elissa Gootman

        HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., June 13 — Inside the gymnasium of the tiny Menorah Day School, somewhere
        between the basketball hoops and the construction-paper creations, is a dilemma worthy of a Talmudic

          Four nights a week, the gymnasium is filled with the sounds of bingo: the ringing of a bell when the number 66 is
          called, the subdued cry of B-1 or I-29, the pregame chattering about grandchildren and good luck.

          And on those nights, the room is filled with the smells of bingo: the delicate gray clouds emanating from the
          Marlboros, Newport Lights and Virginia Slims that are, for many of the players, as essential to bingo nights as the
         good-luck charms beside the markers.

          County law explicitly prohibits smoking on school grounds, whether children are coloring in a classroom or tucked
          into bed at home, and so Menorah Day was told the smoking at bingo would have to stop.

         But two weeks after the metal ashtrays were removed from the folding tables where bingo is played and the new
         policy announced, attendance dropped. More than 100 players signed a petition threatening to take their bingo
         money elsewhere if smoking remained forbidden.

        "We were struggling to break even," Mrs. Bausk recalled.

         Some of the most dedicated smokers, it turned out, were the biggest spenders.

        "It's a Catch-22, and we're caught in the middle," she said. Desperate to keep the school alive, she came up with a
        Solomonesque solution: "I said if we can't take away the cigarettes, what we have to do is remove the children."

        No children, no school. No school, no restrictions.

        Three synagogues offered Mrs. Bausk space for makeshift classrooms, and for the last month or so of classes,
       which ended last week, the school's 46 preschool and elementary school students learned in exile while bingo
       continued to be held.

After a Deal, an Antismoking Measure is Held Back - June 18, 2002
        By Shaila K. Dewan

       ALBANY, June 17 -- A painstakingly negotiated deal on a bill that would ban smoking in restaurants
       appeared to falter today when the Senate's Republican majority met to discuss the bill but did not let
       it come to the floor.  Republicans said several details still had to be resolved.

      "The outstanding issue is how the bill affects the small restaurant owners," said John McArdle, a
      spokesman for the Republicans.  The bill would allow smoking in bar areas and separately
      ventilated dining rooms.  Some upstate senators have argued that restaurants with no bar would
      have to ban all smoking.

In Albany, Compromise Proves Elusive Deals Are Scant at End of
       Legislative Session - June 21, 2002
        By James C. McKinley Jr.

        Deals were scarce today. A tentative deal reached last week on a bill to ban smoking in restaurants across the
        state fell apart after the Republicans insisted on carving out an exception for small restaurants.

Smoking Looks Even Worse - June 24, 2002

        It is hard to believe there is anything new to be learned about the evils of tobacco. But a depressing new
       analysis by a team assembled by the World Health Organization has found that tobacco is a lot more
       dangerous than anyone previously realized, whether one smokes it directly or inhales the fumes expelled by
       someone else.

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note:  We include all reports on tobacco-related issues out of NY out of a sense of fairness.  It does NOT mean we agree with all that is listed.  We urge everyone to review our analysis of this new report.

Cigarettes Up to $7 a Pack With New Tax - July 1, 2002
         By Michael Cooper

         Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed a bill yesterday that will raise the city's cigarette tax to $1.50 a pack
         beginning today. City officials and opponents of smoking say the increase will give New York the highest
         cigarette tax in the nation and push the price of some brands to more than $7 a pack.

         At the hearing, Mr. Bloomberg found himself face to face with critics.

         Audrey Silk, the founder of a group called Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, testified that
         consenting adults should be free to engage in risky behavior if they choose, and that smokers should not be
         singled out for higher taxes.

         Then she turned the tables on the mayor and his predilection for some junk foods.

         "I know that you love to eat chunky peanut butter with bacon and bananas," she said. "How about I come out
         and start a campaign to tax that bacon, that's going to cause heart disease, and tax that super-chunky peanut
         butter that's going to kill you?"

Many Smokers Are Resigned to Costlier Habit - July 1, 2002
        By Elissa Gootman

       When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed a bill yesterday raising the city's cigarette tax by $1.42 a
       pack, he predicted that the move would not only enhance revenues, but also save lives.

       But in Lower Manhattan, most smokers interviewed yesterday as they stocked up on cartons at drugstores,
       lighted up at outdoor cafes and stubbed out butts on steamy sidewalks said that while the latest price increase
       was steep enough to make them angry, it was not enough to make them quit.

The Mayor Taxes Will Power - July 2, 2002

         At $7 or more a pack, cigarettes have become more than a bad habit. They are a luxury threatening to
         approach Beluga caviar in cost. But while both are acquired tastes, one is infinitely easier to quit than the

         One smoking advocate, noting the mayor's fondness for Elvis-style snacks, suggested that a tax on chunky peanut
         butter, bacon and bananas might be a good idea too.

How a Popular State Bill to Restrict Smoking in Restaurants
       Faltered - July 9, 2002
         By Shaila K. Dewan

        Among the many pieces of unfinished business at the end of the legislative session this year, a bill that would
        have restricted smoking in restaurants seemed among the most likely to succeed.

        But the session has pretty much ended, and the bill was not brought up for a vote.

Cigarette Tax, Highest in Nation, Cuts Sales in City - August 6, 2002
         By Michael Cooper

         The number of cigarettes sold in New York City has been cut almost in half since the city began charging
         the highest cigarette tax in the nation last month, driving the price of many cigarettes to $7.50 a pack,
         according to figures released yesterday.

Campaign Promotes Smoke-Free Environments - August 7, 2002
         by John Schwartz

        STANTON A. GLANTZ wants to tell restaurants and bars to go
        smoke-free -- but he is having trouble getting the word out.

        Prof. Glantz, a tobacco researcher at the University of California,
        San Francisco, yesterday announced a new Web site, "TobaccoScam,"
        to counter what he calls a 20-year campaign by the tobacco industry
        to use the restaurant industry as a stalking horse to defeat
        anti-smoking rules.

       But Prof. Glantz's attempts to get restaurant trade magazines to
       accept ads for the site were not entirely successful.

Bloomberg Seeks to Ban Smoking in Every Restaurant and Bar - August 9, 2002
         By Jennifer Steinhauer

        The Bloomberg administration will ask the City Council to amend New York City's antismoking law to
        include all restaurants and bars, making it one of the toughest in the nation.

       The current law, passed in 1995, forbids smoking in all restaurants with more than 35 seats, and excludes
       stand-alone bars and the bar areas of all restaurants. The proposed amendment would add roughly 13,000
       establishments that would be forced to ban smoking entirely.

Talk of Ban Gives Smokers, Bars and Restaurants the Jitters - August 10, 2002
         By Lydia Polgreen

        A few nights a week, Gene Scofield leaves his apartment near Lincoln Center and meets a few buddies at
        Rudy's Bar and Grill on Ninth Avenue near 45th Street for a drink or two. But since he found out that
        Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wanted to keep him from smoking while he has a cocktail, he may just have to
        start drinking at home.

        "If you can't have a cigarette in a bar," said Mr. Scofield, a 70-year-old retired medical secretary, "what is the
        world coming to?"

The End of the Smoky Bar - August 12, 2002

         The few remaining outposts of smoking in public indoor spaces in New York City, such as small restaurants and
         bars, will soon be smoke-free — if Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his way, and it seems that he will. While most
         of the workers in these establishments and their nonsmoking customers breathe a sigh of relief, smokers find their
         universe shrinking yet again. The law, if passed by the City Council, will put the city alongside California and Delaware
         as the nation's most unaccommodating places for smoking.

Bum a Smoke? At This Price? - August 15, 2002
        By Marc Santora

        Valerie Lee was smoking down her drinks at the Bowery Bar. For each dry vodka martini, there was another Virginia
        Slim. But she said she was going to have to change her pace. "I will probably go to one smoke for every other drink," she
        said. "I just can't do $7.50 a pack."

       Now, with each cigarette costing nearly 40 cents, bumming a smoke is not so simple. Smokers tell stories of friends who
       carry fooler packs with only one cigarette so they can claim it is their last, while the full pack remains hidden. Some
       smokers go so far as to load their regular Marlboros into a menthol box, knowing the casual smoker will turn up his nose.

      Another possible solution was suggested by Johanna Saum, a bartender at Bowery Bar. "People keep telling me I should
      sell cigarettes by the individual cigarette," she said. The smokers around the bar, where packs sell for $9, nodded in
      agreement, with one patron chiming in, "Whoever does that will make a fortune."

Shared Misery: Newsstands Feel the Tax's Pinch Too - August 18, 2002
         By Jim O'Grady

"Take $7 a pack," he said, "and multiply that by 365 days a year and you get $5,110." (The price for a pack in the city ranges
from $6.50 to $7.50.)

Most of that money would have gone to Maganlal Pandya, the store's owner. Mr. Pandya was glad that his friend and regular
customer had quit smoking, but angry about what had driven him to do it. On July 3, the Bloomberg administration raised the
city's cigarette tax from 8 cents a pack to $1.50 a pack, which must be paid on top of the state's $1.50-a-pack tax.

"It's a killer," said Mr. Pandya, who has owned the store for 16 years. "Every store like this, you make your largest profit from
cigarette sales. So how do you survive?"

One of Mr. Ahmed's customers, Barbara Boyle, has found other sources for her habit.

"To tell you the truth," she said, "I've been sneaking into Pennsylvania." She also looks for Web sites that sell cigarettes from
other states and Indian reservations, but her brand, True Green 100's, is hard to find. She occasionally returns to the A to Z,
partly for lack of options and partly, she said, "because I still like to support my local store owner."

Ms. Boyle's friend, Cathy Minozzi, smokes Virginia Slim Ultra Lights. She, too, has largely forsaken the corner store for the
Internet and occasional two-for-one sales at other stores. "I try not to go here, unless I'm in desperate need," she said.

Such strategies and sentiments have brought Mr. Pandya, a voluble man who sometimes sings to his customers, to the brink of
commercial despair.

"In two or three months, you won't see me here," he said of his spot behind the counter at the store, which is plastered with
cigarette ads. "I should never have gotten into this business."

Nassau May Follow City's Lead on Antismoking Proposal - August 24, 2002
        By David M. Herszenhorn

        Democratic lawmakers in Nassau County introduced tough new antismoking legislation today
        that would mirror the strict ban on smoking in all New York City restaurants and bars proposed this month by Mayor
        Michael R. Bloomberg. Nassau legislators said they also hoped to reach agreement with Suffolk and Westchester
        Counties, which have been considering their own tougher laws, to create an eight-county no-smoking zone across lower
        New York State.

If People Are Mad, He Must Be Mayor - August 25, 2002
        By Jennifer Steinhauer

Perhaps it annoys him, or maybe he finds it a badge of honor.

Either way, the inescapable fact is that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is making enemies — finally.

Mr. Bloomberg, whose mayoralty was formed early on with equal parts inclusiveness and inoffensiveness, has in recent weeks
angered constituents as varied as the city's neighborhoods: advocates for the homeless, smokers, minority politicians and
garden-variety New Yorkers who now feel guilty every time they look at an empty Pepsi bottle.

Although critics of his proposed smoking policy almost always fail to address the policy's central goal as articulated by Mr.
Bloomberg — not to protect smokers, but rather those who have to breathe secondhand smoke — they nonetheless are
perhaps his most bitter opponents.

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note:  Fail to address?!?  How many Op-Ed pieces are we supposed to send that they refuse to print before they say we do?

A Jubilant Barroom Toast to Smoke-Free Air - August 27, 2002
         By Jane E. Brody

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's proposal to extend New York's smoking ban to all offices, bars and restaurants - even pool halls, bowling alleys and bingo parlors - would not make the city the first to have such a law. California and dozens of towns and counties already have similar laws.

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note:  The NY Times has been most biased in its reporting on the issue. This article in particular goes on to tell the most grossest of lies.  Letters to the editor will be sent disputing the secondhand smoke junk science.  Will they print these or accuse us of "failing to address" the issue? (see above)

But wait!  On August 20th, Jane E. Brody wrote "In a World of Hazards, Worries Are Often Misplaced."  In it, she writes "the dose makes the poison."  Her first piece is completely contradictory to her piece on the 27th.  Hatred throws all reason and standards out the window obviously.  That's what we keep telling you.

City and County Officials Discuss Curbs on Smoking - August 29, 2002

MINEOLA, N.Y., Aug. 28 — Differing only in how far they want to go in limiting smoking in public, Nassau, Suffolk and
Westchester County legislators met with New York City officials today to compare notes and voice their hope that others
will also take up the cause.

Dutchess County has already joined their fight. On Tuesday, legislators there introduced a bill that would ban smoking in
restaurants, bars and nightclubs. There are currently no county restrictions on any of these places, County Legislator Woody N.
Klose said.

Early this month, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg proposed expanding New York City's curbs on public smoking by completely
banning smoking in bars and restaurants, including outdoor cafes. Last week, Nassau Democrats introduced similar legislation.
While Suffolk is still drafting a bill, Westchester has several proposals, none as comprehensive as the one Mr. Bloomberg hopes the City Council will approve.

Circling Their Stogies Against Mayor - September 20, 2002
        By Clyde Haberman

Mr. Bloomberg's campaign to outlaw smoking in all bars and restaurants drew a band of dissenters the other day to Gallagher's Steak House, on West 52nd Street. Call it the Charge of the Light 'Em Up Brigade. Two dozen people, mainly cigar-smoking
men, puffed while they huffed about a crusade that they consider unnecessary, given existing smoking laws that seem to work fine. To them, the proposed ban is zealotry run amok.

There is nothing like a politically incorrect event to draw a herd of notebooks and microphones, and the anti-Bloomberg protest was no exception. It was, in the main, a witty group, reaffirming this nonsmoking columnist's conviction that people in a
restaurant's smoking section tend to be more interesting, pound for pound, than those at the goody-goody tables.

Antismoking Bill's Chances May Hinge on Personalities - October 2, 2002
        By Diane Cardwell

        Relations between Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and some members of the City Council have deteriorated to such an
        extent that Council leaders are warning that the mayor's prized antismoking legislation may be in jeopardy.

        Publicly, Council leaders say they are simply waiting for hearings and opinions from all interested parties before enacting a
        potentially sweeping law. "We're in the process of reviewing the legislation — there are some members who support it,
        there are other members who have concerns," Mr. Miller said yesterday. "What you try to do in this case is to strike the
        right balance, and you can't do that without having a thoughtful and deliberative process."

        But privately, council members and their aides say that the growing resentment over the way Mr. Bloomberg approached
        the issue could stand in the way of the bill's passing.

Last Call for a Smoke - October 6, 2002
        By John Rather

JOHN RYERSON, the owner of McGuire's Restaurant and Comedy Club in Bohemia, said he went $250,000 into hock two years ago to create a separate room for smokers.

There was no other choice, Mr. Ryerson said last week, if he were to comply with a 1995 Suffolk County law that sought to
protect non-smoking patrons from secondhand smoke. "It was that or go smoke-free and find another job," said Mr. Ryerson,
adding that, for his business, smoking is the difference between profit and loss.

Now he and other restaurant and bar-restaurant owners in Suffolk and Nassau are complaining bitterly that local officials are
about to change the rules again, negating some owners' expensive compliance efforts with outright bans on smoking in virtually all public indoor places.

Smoking Banned in Nassau Bars and Restaurants - October 8, 2002
        By Bruce Lambert

Nassau County tonight became the first county in New York to extend its ban on smoking in the workplace to cover all bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and bingo halls.

Fighting Mayor's Proposed Smoking Ban - October 10, 2002
        By Jennifer Steinhauer

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and smoking opponents will face off with restaurant, nightclub and bar owners today at the
first hearing on the mayor's proposal to ban smoking in all public places in New York City, which would be one of the
strictest antismoking laws in the country.

When Mr. Bloomberg first announced his proposal in August as a way to protect the health of restaurant workers, there were
few voices of dissent.

But in recent weeks, opponents have become more vocal, sending letters to newspapers, peppering City Council members with phone calls and visits and hiring lobbyists.

Bloomberg, Heckled, Presses Smoking Curbs - October 11, 2002
        By Jennifer Steinhauer

City Council hearings are sometimes important. They are occasionally well attended. But they rarely feature the mayor, a
roomful of his hecklers and a man dressed as a giant cigarette.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pleaded his case yesterday to a packed Council chamber for legislation to ban smoking in all
indoor public spaces, a measure that, if passed, would make New York City among the toughest places in the nation to be a

But just as Mr. Bloomberg is sure of the righteousness of ridding the city of clouds of smoke, his opponents are equally
committed to stopping him, arguing that the legislation would hurt the city's economy. "The mayor is a brilliant businessman,"
testified Ciaran Staunton, who owns O'Neill's bar in Midtown Manhattan. "But he knows absolutely nothing about the bar

The testimony, which lasted nearly eight hours, at times seemed to cut along class lines, with small-bar owners from less affluent
areas of the city suggesting that their billionaire mayor was insensitive to the dynamics of the restaurant business.

"If I had the mayor's net worth," said James McBratney, president of the Staten Island Restaurant and Tavern Association, "I
wouldn't be here today."

The mayor was roundly heckled when he suggested that bars would actually make more money if they banned smoking,
reasoning that patrons would simply buy more drinks. One opponent of the legislation was removed from the chamber as he
screamed to loud applause, "It's a private sin."

Smoking Issue Is Clear: The Other Side's Wrong - October 11, 2002
        By Clyde Haberman

The defenders of virtue battled the forces of darkness at City Hall yesterday. The hard part was figuring out which was which.

If you were among those absolutely convinced that anyone holding a cigarette is New York's greatest health menace since
Typhoid Mary, there was no question. The knight on the white horse was Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He went before the
City Council's Health Committee yesterday to explain why New York must reinvent Prohibition by outlawing smoking in all
restaurants, bars, pool halls — you name it, even private clubs.

There you had it, the battle of virtues: crusaders for clean lungs and fresh indoor air against champions of choice and the right of
people to behave as stupidly as they want.

Ah, but smoking is different, said the mayor, a reformed sinner who gave up the weed years ago. Bars and restaurants are
workplaces, he said. Smoking puts waiters and bartenders at risk, so it is government's duty to protect them, same as if asbestos was flaking from the ceiling. "All workers deserve a safe, healthy work environment," he said.

His position made no accommodation for the idea that bars and restaurants, not to mention private clubs, are hardly ordinary
work places.

In California, Bars Live on Without Their Indoor Smog - October 11, 2002
        By Nick Madigan

LOS ANGELES — There is something missing from a barfly's hands when cigarettes are taken out of the picture.

At least that is what many of the regulars at Molly Malone's have believed since Jan. 1, 1998, when a California law banned
smoking in restaurants and bars. The bottom line suffered, too.

"It was devastating for about a year and a half," said Sean Ryan, a bartender at Malone's, as he served a Coors at noon today to a customer at the dark end of the bar on Fairfax Avenue. "It emptied the place. It wasn't a subtle difference; it was huge."

California, known for a generally progressive view toward healthful living, may have been the perfect place to enact such a wide-ranging law, the first in the country. In New York, it may not be so easy.

"They're going to have a tougher time — the personality of New Yorkers doesn't lend itself to being pushed around," said an
engineer named Ken, who chose not to give his last name as he sat at the bar at Malone's.

The Smoke Nazis - October 19, 2002
        By Bill Keller

The mayor of New York City does not seem to be a particularly puritanical man. Michael Bloomberg is a guy who, when asked if he had ever tried marijuana, replied: "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it." (Alas, he's not willing to advocate decriminalizing the experience for the rest of us, but that's a subject for another day.) He once fondly likened his college fraternity to the one in "Animal House," and he still enjoys a party. He is no libertarian, let alone libertine, but his attitude toward private pleasure is pretty much live and let live.

On the subject of tobacco, though, he has surprised many constituents with his zeal. First he slapped on a city tax increase that raises the price of a pack of cigarettes to around $7. Now he proposes to outlaw smoking in every bar and restaurant in the five boroughs of New York.

Is this the smug virtue of a reformed smoker? A bit of bash-tobacco political opportunism? A rich man's paternalism toward what has become more and more a working-class vice? It's not unreasonable to suspect a bit of each: Mr. Bloomberg is a convert from a pack-a-day habit, Big Tobacco is the domestic equivalent of Saddam Hussein, and Mr. Bloomberg's class empathy is more top-hat than tip-jar.

Lax New York Laws Make Big Money Bigger - October 22, 2002

ALBANY, Oct. 21 — A remarkable series of legislative battles was fought here over the last year, linked by a recurring
theme. In each case, powerful business and labor interests, armed with well-connected lobbyists and money for campaign
contributions, won a victory that looked unlikely not too long before.

The Legislature and Gov. George E. Pataki legalized several forms of gambling that they had earlier rejected. They appeared poised to ban smoking in restaurants, then let the measure die.

Governor Pataki avoided commenting on the no-smoking bill until late in the legislative session, when he and his aides said that
he had concerns about its effects on small restaurants, but that he had not formed a position. Several Republican senators said
that, in fact, the governor was privately pressing Mr. Bruno to either kill the bill or water it down severely, a claim the governor's office denied.

Mr. Bruno said the bill died over a matter of principle.

"There was a legitimate concern about not hurting small businesses," he said. "We heard their concerns, and we were not going
to ignore them." The campaign contributions, he said, "had nothing to do with it."

A City Councilman Proposes a Narrower Ban on Smoking - October 23, 2002
        By Thomas J. Lueck

One of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's staunchest allies on the City Council called yesterday for less sweeping antismoking
legislation, a sign that the mayor's effort to ban smoking in all indoor public spaces faces stiff political resistance.

The councilman, James S. Oddo, a Staten Island Republican, has been a sponsor of the bill the mayor has promoted that would extend the city's smoking ban to every bar and restaurant and to other indoor settings, as well as to outdoor cafes.

But in a letter to Gifford Miller, the council speaker, Mr. Oddo described "a vast array of differing views" on the mayor's

He asked that a more moderate smoking bill, which Mr. Oddo introduced in April, should be brought to a Council vote before
the one sought by the mayor.

Mr. Oddo said he handed Mr. Miller a copy of the letter late yesterday, as both were leaving City Hall, but did not know how
Mr. Miller would respond.

"He read a few lines, looked at me to see if I was serious, and left," Mr. Oddo said.

Mr. Miller did not return telephone calls for comment last night.

Cigarette Makers Take Anti-Smoking Ads Personally - October 27, 2002
        By Alina Tugend

Body bags. Dying rats. Dog urine.

These are some of the images used in state and nationwide anti-smoking commercials that are sounding a contentious theme.
Rather than spotlighting the ill effects of cigarettes, the ads are focusing on the supposed evils of the tobacco industry.

The commercials, which run on youth-oriented television and radio stations, rotate every few months. Among the most vivid are
ones that depict body bags piled up in front of the headquarters of Philip Morris, gasping rats to dramatize that cigarettes include the same ingredient — ammonia — as rat poison, and a dog walker offering to sell dog urine to tobacco companies because cigarettes contain urea.

Anti-smoking advocates and tobacco companies agree that the campaign has been highly effective. But while
smoking-prevention groups say that such campaigns resonate, especially with teenagers, industry officials argue that in some
cases they do little more than vilify cigarette companies and their employees.

Passage of Antismoking Law May Be Linked to Wage Bill - October 31, 2002
        By Diane Cardwell

The City Council and the Bloomberg administration remained at an impasse yesterday over the mayor's antismoking legislation, as Council officials hastily scheduled a second hearing on the measure for tomorrow.

From the beginning, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has made it clear that extending the city's antismoking law to small
restaurants, bars and bar areas was a personal policy goal, but it has faced opposition in the Council from members worried
about the economic impact on establishments in their neighborhoods.

Speaker Gifford Miller has remained noncommittal on the smoking bill, and officials signaled that he would not support it unless
the mayor backed Mr. Miller's own pet measure: a bill to guarantee certain workers a so-called living wage, which the
administration has opposed.

Officials have insisted that the two measures were being considered separately and on the merits alone, but Mr. Miller had
suggested to Mr. Bloomberg that if he could provide a version of the living wage bill that he could live with, the Council would
try to accommodate him in the same fashion on the smoking legislation, according to someone who was involved in the

Council officials had hoped to reach such an agreement on the living wage bill before yesterday's committee vote. In exchange,
they would schedule a speedy hearing on the smoking bill, at which they could present a compromise acceptable to the
Bloomberg administration. It appeared yesterday that none of those goals had been met.

After a day of frantic negotiations, a Council committee passed a version of the living wage bill that Mr. Bloomberg had not yet
decided whether to sign, said Edward Skyler, a spokesman for the mayor. And although the Council had scheduled a hearing for tomorrow on the smoking bill, officials said they could always cancel it.

Council Hearing on Smoking Delayed as Talks Continue - November 1, 2002
         By Diane Cardwell

A second City Council hearing on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's sweeping antismoking bill — one that promised to be another version of the circus-like first hearing three weeks ago — was abruptly canceled yesterday.

Officials said negotiations behind the scenes, which could lead to an exemption for cigar bars if a law is eventually enacted, had
not progressed enough for a hearing today.

"With interested parties on both sides of the issue expressing the need for more time, and with negotiations continuing, we simply felt it was best to defer the hearing to a later date," said Chris Policano, a spokesman for the council speaker, Gifford Miller.

So far, Council leaders have shown an unwillingness to simply go along.

The recent vote in Nassau County to extend its smoking ban to bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and bingo halls has put extra
pressure on Mr. Bloomberg: for him to win anything less than the sweeping legislation he is seeking could be seen as a failure.

The pressure is intense for the Council, too. Many members are being lobbied by neighborhood bar and restaurant owners who
say that their businesses are already shaky because of fizzling tourism. The smoking ban, they say, would kill them. Council
members also say they worry that bar patrons spilling onto streets to smoke would create a nuisance for residents, whose votes
the council members will need in a year.

It's New York. It's Elaine's. Let Our Patrons Light Up. - November 6, 2002
        By Elaine Kaufman
        Elaine Kaufman owns Elaine's restaurant in Manhattan

A lot's been written about my restaurant over the years. Mostly it's about the celebrities, the writers — George Plimpton, Norman Mailer, Woody Allen.

But the place is about more than famous people. On a recent Friday, at about 4 p.m., my waiters were setting up for dinner when I noticed they'd set a large table for 14 or so in the back of the restaurant in the no-smoking zone.

The whole thing was wrong. I knew it would never work. Odds are that in a group that large, at least one person smokes. I told Humberto, one of my waiters, to move the group to the front of the restaurant across from the bar. That's our smoking section. That one move cost me almost half my smoking section for the entire evening. Didn't matter. I wanted to do the right thing.

I'm in a service business, have been for almost 40 years here at Elaine's. In my business, it's about hospitality. We serve people. We like to please. We'd much rather say yes than no. If they want their fish cooked without butter, fine. If they can't use salt, no problem. And if they don't want to be around smoke, they don't have to be. With the current setup, which was instituted under the Giuliani administration, 85 percent of the place is now no-smoking. It works.

So what do we have now? Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wants us to ban smoking entirely. He wants us to say no to the customers — neighborhood people, regulars and the tourists. Let us not forget about the tourists. We all know what tourism means to New York. And we can't afford to lose any.

The city is hurting. Hotel occupancy is down. I can't even discuss what's happening to Chinatown. I, for one, don't want to give tourists, especially international travelers, one more reason for not coming to New York. Yet the Bloomberg administration wants us restaurateurs to tell them that if they want a cigar or cigarette after dinner, no go. Can we afford to lose this business? I don't think so.

So I have a plan. It's very simple. The city wants to protect people from second-hand smoke. We restaurateurs want to keep doing business. And the city needs money to close its huge budget gap. So I propose a smoking license for restaurants, hotels and bars. It would be similar to a liquor license. For let's say $1,500 or $2,000 a year, a restaurateur, hotelier or bar owner could obtain a license for each of its venues. With the license, we would simply maintain the current smoking laws, which confine smoking to the bar area in all restaurants with more than 35 seats.

We'd post a sign out front, letting people know we're a smoking establishment. And here's a grown-up idea: let people make their own decision about whether to enter. As far as the employees go, it's up to them, too. Since not all restaurants will choose to be smoking establishments, the work force will have other options.

Say there are 20,000 places to eat and drink in the five boroughs. At $1,500 to $2,000 a year, the city would make about $40 million. Then you throw in the hotels and you're talking major change. Even if only half of the places apply for the license, you still have a nice, healthy number. (Oh, and for the record, I quit smoking years ago.)

Budget Talks May Delay Vote on Mayor's No-Smoking Bill - November 12, 2002
        By Jennifer Steinhauer

City officials said yesterday that lawmakers would almost certainly not vote today on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's proposal to ban smoking in all public spaces in New York, meaning the measure might be overshadowed by the budget issue.

Mr. Bloomberg views the smoking bill as the most important piece of municipal legislation he has sought since taking office, and
he had hoped to have the bill wrapped up by the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21. But passage is now considered highly
unlikely by that date, as the bill will now take a back seat to the intensifying budget negotiations taking place between the mayor's staff and the City Council.

Council leaders and the mayor have been unable to agree on the breadth of the mayor's proposed bill. Mr. Bloomberg, who
views a smoking ban as a worker protection, would like to see smoking outlawed in all bars, restaurants and outdoor cafes. The current law, passed in 1995, bans smoking only in restaurants that seat more than 35 people.

Council members would like to see some exemptions, like cigar bars, stand-alone bars or restaurants that create an enclosed
smoking area.

Councilwoman Sees No Vote on Smoking Ban This Year - November 13, 2002
        By Diane Cardwell

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's proposal to ban smoking in almost all public places is unlikely to go to a vote before the end of this year, a City Council member with a vital role in the legislation said yesterday.

The council member, Christine Quinn, commented on the legislation's slim chances for rapid action after a second marathon
hearing on the matter brought to City Hall an array of people for and against the mayor's proposed smoking ban.

"There's obviously a lot that's going to be on our agenda now — potential tax increases, the budget modification — so we're
going to have to do this in the context of all of that," Ms. Quinn, chairwoman of the council's Health Committee, said.

"So it makes it less likely that this passes by the end of this calendar year," she said. Ms. Quinn emphasized it was not impossible and said negotiations would continue.

A delay would be a disappointment for Mr. Bloomberg, who wanted a law to sign by the Great American Smokeout on Nov.

Some council members would like to see cigar bars, small owner-operated bars and businesses that create enclosed smoking
areas or install high-tech filtration systems exempted from the new law. But because the two sides have not reached an
agreement, the Nov. 21 deadline is considered all but impossible to meet, and it may be some time before the bill can come up
for a vote, officials said. Ms. Quinn plans a third hearing, but has not scheduled it.

As negotiations over the budget heat up, the smoking issue is moving to the back burner. Mr. Bloomberg is expected to present
his proposed cuts to the current budget tomorrow.

"Everybody's about to shift gears into budget," a council official said. "There's no longer a feeling that it has to be done now.
Everybody agreed to move on and to try to come up with a bill."

Toward that end, council officials said, the hearing yesterday became another opportunity for the public to weigh in on the
smoking issue. Officials on the mayor's office and the council's office report receiving more e-mail messages, calls and letters
about this issue than about any other. And though the hearing yesterday was far less circuslike than the first one last month,
emotions still ran high. Ms. Quinn quickly resorted to threats of clearing the room and banging her gavel to keep the proceedings flowing smoothly.

Officials Weigh Tobacco Funds as a Fiscal Fix - November 21, 2002
        By Richard Perez-Pena

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's plans for pulling the city out of its fiscal crisis include borrowing $1.4 billion against expected payments from tobacco companies, and New York State lawmakers are considering similar moves to close the state's own vast deficit.

Yearning to Inhale Free - November 21, 2002
        By Susan Sachs

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wants a law to guarantee a smoke-free environment in all workplaces and public places, including clubs, bars, restaurants, movie theaters and cafes.

He has heard plenty about the proposal from celebrity restaurant owners, bartenders, doctors, tavern owners and unions. He has probably not heard, however, the concerned and somewhat novel opinions of a rarely polled segment of his public — immigrants.

They say he ought to stand a day in their worn-down shoes.

Indeed, many immigrants seem puzzled by the mayor's crusade to banish indoor smoking to protect workers from second-hand smoke. Naïvely, they chalk it up to an American enthusiasm for regulations or, conversely, a determination to dictate fate.

George Leccese, an Italian immigrant working as a bartender at the Winter Garden, describes himself as a light and, most important, a fatalistic smoker.

"In the morning you get up and get hit by a car — bam — and you're dead," he says. "You walk down the street and a sniper shoots you — bam — and you're dead. People die of cancer who have never smoked in their lives. My aunt, who is 94 and plays soccer, still smokes.

"Next we'll have to pay taxes for fresh air or groceries or car exhaust," he continues, working himself up to real indignation. "Everybody, but not Bloomberg, should make a decision for themselves. This is a free country."

With Third Hearing Set, Mayor and Council Are Near Agreement
       on Antismoking Bill - December 7, 2002
        By Diane Cardwell

With the budget behind them, City Council leaders and the Bloomberg administration have intensified negotiations on the mayor's prized antismoking legislation, and hope to reach an agreement as early as next week.

Councilwoman Christine Quinn, who, as chairwoman of the Health Committee has a vital role in moving the legislation, has
scheduled a third hearing on the matter for Friday morning, and officials said they hoped to have an agreement before then. Ms.
Quinn said negotiations were ongoing and the committee would not vote at the next hearing, but could do so soon after.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to come out with a bill that in the near future will satisfy everyone's goal of protecting as many workers
as possible," Ms. Quinn said.

Several council members had balked at the original bill, arguing that in a time of economic uncertainty, the cit
any laws that might hurt hotels, pubs and nightspots that attract a smoking clientele. They also argued that their constituents
would not tolerate the public nuisance of bar patrons spilling onto the streets to smoke.

The Council had suggested any number of amendments and exceptions to the proposed law, but over the months, its list of
changes has diminished. They now appear to be focusing on gaining an exemption for cigar bars and individually owned
businesses with no employees.

Pataki Seeks to Balance Budget With Tobacco Settlement Funds - December 11, 2002
        By James C. McKinley Jr.

Gov. George E. Pataki said today that he would ask the Legislature to authorize selling bonds backed by money from the tobacco-suit settlement to close a projected $2 billion shortfall in this year's budget.

In announcing the proposal, the governor signaled that he intends to borrow money to bail the state out of its fiscal problems rather than resort to layoffs or cuts in state aid to local schools, as other states, like Connecticut and California, have done.

Deal Reached to Tighten Smoking Restrictions in New York - December 11, 2002
        By Diane Cardwell

New York City will enact a sweeping ban on indoor smoking that will include nearly all bars and restaurants, under a compromise between the Bloomberg administration and City Council leaders that was announced today.

The Council scheduled a hearing on the bill for Friday, with a vote possible as early as next week. If it passed, it could take effect in March.

"It's a bill I can work with," Mr. Bloomberg said. "I would have, of course, preferred the original version, but we live in a democracy and the City Council felt strongly about a handful of carve-outs and I said in the end fine."

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note:  Did he use the word "democracy"?  HAH!

Bloomberg Gets Deal to Expand Smoking Curbs - December 12, 2002
        By Diane Cardwell

New York City will enact a sweeping ban on indoor smoking that will include nearly all bars and restaurants, under an agreement announced yesterday between the Bloomberg administration and the City Council.

But council members had balked both at the way Mr. Bloomberg presented his bill and at its scope. The agreement includes several exemptions that the mayor agreed to after extensive negotiations between his office and City Council leaders. The exempted establishments include a handful of cigar bars already in operation, bars with no employees except the owners, nonprofit
membership clubs with no employees, and bars or certain health care facilities with enclosed smoking rooms.

The law, which could come to a vote next week and go into effect as early as March, does not go as far as a recently enacted law in neighboring Nassau County.

The mayor's proposal elicited some of the biggest jeers of his mayoralty, with critics jamming a City Council hearing room and
angry denunciations filling the letters-to-the-editor columns of the city's newspapers. The proposal was denounced both for
infringing on the rights of smokers and for potentially hurting the city's tourist, entertainment and night-life industries.

Hundreds of localities have some variation on laws against public smoking, many with their own exceptions, like allowing people to light up in stand-alone bars or permitting smoking in restaurant bars that have separate ventilation systems.

The ban as currently envisioned by New York City lawmakers has its own exceptions. Although it would prohibit smoking in
restaurants, bars (including hotel bars), sports stadiums, billiard parlors, bingo halls and schools, the law would allow for smoking in separate, enclosed rooms in bars and nightclubs that employees do not generally enter and which are used solely for smoking. The ventilation requirements for those rooms, however, are so extensive that few officials believe businesses would take advantage of the provision, especially since the exception expires three years after the law goes into effect.

While eliminating existing smoking rooms in workplaces like schools and sports arenas, the new law would leave in place an
exception for smoking rooms in residential health care facilities, like those for recovering substance abusers.

Advocates for the workplace ban were similarly pleased with the agreement, arguing that from a public health standpoint, the
exceptions would have little effect. Even council officials concede that they are aware of no bars that fit the definition of the
owner-operated establishment.

Representatives of the bar industry criticized the agreement, including the exemptions.

Puffing Till the Bitter End as the Legal Ban Looms - December 12, 2002
        By Marc Santora

Informed that the City Council and the Bloomberg administration had just reached an agreement that would ban smoking in nearly every bar and restaurant in New York City, Mr. Tooher was incredulous.

"What is this, California?" asked Mr. Tooher, a mortgage broker.

Laura Stevens, 41, a nonsmoker from London, was also shocked that smoking in New York bars would be verboten. "In
London, you go to the pubs and they are very crowded and smoky," she said. "When you go out to have a drink, you should be able to have a smoke because they just go hand in hand."

Several bartenders and owners said they were not sure the rule would be enforceable. Jimmy McHale, whose family has owned McHale's since 1953, said, "I am going to make a good-faith attempt to enforce the rules, but I am not going to play smoke cop."

Bloomberg Officials Defend Compromise on Smoking Bill - December 14, 2002
        By Diane Cardwell

Senior Bloomberg administration officials defended a compromise version of the mayor's sweeping anti-smoking legislation
yesterday from attacks by City Council members unhappy with changes negotiated by their own leaders.

Testifying before the Council's Health Committee, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff and Health Commissioner Thomas R.
Frieden argued that banning smoking in almost all bars and restaurants could benefit those businesses, and that the exceptions they agreed to were pragmatic and fair.

Bar and nightclub owners have argued that a ban on smoking in their establishments would devastate their businesses, and city
officials have conceded that few, if any, of them will take advantage of the provision that allows the construction of special smoking rooms, because the requirements are burdensome and the exemption expires after three years.

"As has been said, politics is the art of the possible," Dr. Frieden told the committee members yesterday. "And just as seven cigar bars represents a compromise, so a very small number, if any, facilities that would construct a separate room would represent a small exemption."

Mr. Doctoroff, who is in charge of economic development and rebuilding, said the changes could help the bar business in a time of economic fragility. In a random survey conducted in Los Angeles and San Francisco, he said, bar owners reported no negative impact on their customer bases or revenues in the wake of a California state ban.

But bar owners and council members challenged that evidence, and questioned the logic of making decisions about New York City pubs and taverns based on a West Coast survey. Ciaran Staunton, in his third appearance before the Council on the bill, said he planned to lay off 3 of the 12 employees at his Midtown bar, O'Neill's, in anticipation of a 20 percent drop-off in business.

And several committee members, some of whose names appeared as sponsors of the amended bill, criticized it nonetheless.

"The thing that I think has been more appalling to me is the fraudulence of this compromise," said Philip Reed of Manhattan, who is not among those 26 sponsors. "I haven't met anybody who has read through those regulations and realistically thinks anybody's going to be able to build a room in their bar."

Kendall Stewart of Brooklyn went so far as to ask a group of witnesses testifying against the ban in bars for further amendments they might incorporate. James S. Oddo of Staten Island, who had drafted his own anti-smoking legislation, wondered aloud if the exemptions created an uneven playing field among bars competing for customers.

And Yvette D. Clarke of Brooklyn argued that the exemptions were elitist because they would place unfair restrictions on small
bars, especially outside Manhattan, while providing loopholes for cigar bars and private clubs like American Legion halls that have no employees. "If I lived in that neighborhood, and I know `American Legion: no problem; the guy next door: got problems,' " she hypothesized, referring to a situation she said is common in Brooklyn, "I'm going to the American Legion hall."

Bloomberg administration officials conceded that there were some philosophical inconsistencies in the proposed legislation, but
added that the Council could always revise or repeal the provisions in the future.

Nonetheless, Council leaders remained optimistic that the bill, which needs 26 votes to pass, would be approved, probably at the next session of the full Council on Wednesday.

"I feel like further issues got raised about some of the amendments, but at this hearing more people testified in support than against," said Christine Quinn, chairwoman of the Health Committee, after emerging from the six-hour hearing. "And we now have more sponsors than we did prior to the compromise bill being released."

Gross-Out Health Warnings - December 15, 2002
        By Kate Jacobs

...two congressmen introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would require tobacco manufacturers to display graphic warning labels on all cigarette packs.

Smoking Bill Is Adopted - December 19, 2002
        By Diane Cardwell

After months of negotiations, more than 20 hours of public testimony and some of the most intense, heated debates of this
administration, the City Council approved Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's antismoking bill yesterday at the last of its
voting sessions this year.

The bill passed 42 to 7 with 2 abstentions, an unusually large number of negative votes for a Council that tends to vote in
lockstep with its leaders. It could become law around the end of March, depending on when Mr. Bloomberg actually signs it.

Mayor Signs Law to Ban Smoking Soon at Most Bars - December 31, 2002
        By Michael Cooper

New Yorkers will still be able to light cigarettes in bars this St. Patrick's Day. But by the end of March, thanks to a law signed yesterday by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, smoking will be banned in almost all bars and restaurants in New York

Mayor Bloomberg called the smoking ban one of the most important things he has done in his life, saying that it would save
"literally tens of thousands of lives."

The law, which Bloomberg administration officials said would take effect on March 30, makes few exceptions. They include
existing cigar bars, bars with no employees except the owners, nonprofit clubs with no employees, and some bars with enclosed smoking rooms.

The city banned smoking in most restaurants in 1995, but continued to allow smoking in bars and the bar areas of restaurants.

Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council Speaker, Gifford Miller, said that the city's new law was meant to protect the
employees of bars and restaurants from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Colin McCord, an assistant commissioner of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said the law would help fight
what he called an "epidemic."

"It is the most important epidemic of our time," he said. "Each year the Health Department signs death certificates of 10,000
New Yorkers who died because of a tobacco-related cause; 1,000 of these people died because of exposure to secondhand

Still, the measure was unpopular with some people. A Staten Island man dressed in a Superman suit paraded in front of City Hall yesterday, holding up a hand-painted sign which, in vulgar language, denounced and threatened the mayor.

Asked if he was worried that the smoking ban would hurt his popularity, the mayor said that 80 percent of New Yorkers do not smoke. "The only poll that is really going to matter is when I run for re-election in another three years," he said.

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January 16, 2002
        THE $750M HANDSHAKE
        By Kenneth Lovett

         ALBANY - Gov. Pataki and legislative leaders
         yesterday announced agreement on a stunning $3.5 billion
         health-care plan that will boost health-care salaries while
         hiking cigarette taxes by 39 cents a pack.

January 29, 2002
        Steve Dunleavy

       You - the leaders of our government - tell us smoking is
       wrong, it's bad for health, and it can kill you.

       But now we have a situation where, if you don't smoke and
       don't pay more taxes, you're not being good to the state of
       New York.

       In other words, if we took any notice of medical evidence,
       none of us would smoke. But that would mean New York
       state would not get all the tax money it wants.

April 1, 2002

        Internet sites and Indian reservation smoke
        shops expect a boost in tax-free cigarette sales when New
        York's higher tax takes effect Wednesday.

April 23, 2002
         By Frankie Edozien

         Smokers, already bracing for another
         steep hike in the cigarette tax, may be forced out of all
         public dining rooms if a bill being introduced tomorrow by
         a Staten Island councilman passes.

         Republican James Oddo's plan would amend the city's
         Smoke-Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in public
         areas such as mass transit, schools, movie theaters and
         restaurants with seats for more than 35 patrons.

         His amendment would prohibit smoking in all restaurants,
         regardless of size.

April 26, 2002
        By Kirsten Danis and Kenneth Lovett

        Mayor Bloomberg is on the verge of winning $850 million in additional aid for the city, including $250
        million more for schools and a whopping cigarette tax hike, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said

        The "likely" budget deal is shaping up as Bloomberg has signaled he's easing
        off his controversial plan to deeply slash city spending on schools -
        something Silver strongly opposes.

        A budget agreement would pave the way for some new revenue-raising
        measures sought by the mayor, including a new $1.42-per-pack cigarette
        tax, a 65-cent monthly phone fee, and increases in some parking fines.

        "These are things that are likely to happen," Silver said.

May 6, 2002
        Puff daddy
        Neal Travis - Page Six

        IF Mayor Mike succeeds in raising the New York City tax
        on cigarettes to $1.50 a pack (from the present 8 cents),
        I'm quitting this job to become a bootlegger. Every smartie
        from the suburbs will be taking orders for cartons of
        smokes from fellow workers in the city and making a
        bundle. You can maybe police interstate cigarette
        smuggling, but intrastate - forget about it!

May 15, 2002

         What's an extra 80 cents a month in new cell-phone taxes?

         Given the state's grim financial picture post-9/11, who
         wouldn't be glad to chip in such a "meaningless" sum?

         No doubt that's what lawmakers are betting on as they get
         set to pass (probably as early as today) a budget steeped in
         nuisance tax hikes - on cell phones, fishing and hunting,
         cigarettes, liquor and who knows what else.

         The logic couldn't be more wrong.

May 19, 2002
        Al Guart

        A new crop of cigarette smugglers is
        expected to blow into town if the proposed $1.50-a-pack
        tax hike is approved by the state and city this week.

        Some bootleggers have already tested the market, said
        William McMahon, assistant special agent in charge of the
        U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in New York.

        "It's getting busier, that's for sure," he said. "It's going to be
        a big money-maker."

May 21, 2002
         By Frankie Edozien and Kenneth Lovett

         City Council Speaker Gifford Miller
         flexed his muscles yesterday, refusing to provide a routine
         authorization for a cigarette-tax hike negotiated by Mayor
         Bloomberg and Albany leaders.

         Sources said Miller is withholding approval of the tax as a
         strong-arm negotiating ploy to get goodies for the council in
         budget talks with the mayor.

         Albany officials said they won't approve the cigarette tax
         and some other measures for the city until they receive a
         formal request, called a "home-rule message," from the

June 15, 2002
        By Fredric U. Dicker

        ALBANY - Smoking in all New York City
        restaurants will be banned under a sweeping new law
        expected to pass the state Legislature next week

June 23, 2002
        By Kenneth Lovett

        ALBANY - The state is moving toward easing sanctions against stores that sell cigarettes to minors,
        The Post has learned.

        Final legislative passage is expected this week on a bill that
        reworks a 2-year- old law that convenience-store and
        bodega owners argued was too harsh and could force many
        to close.

June 30, 2002
         By Erika Martinez and Todd Venezia

         On the eve of the city's massive cigarette-tax hike,
         thieves decided to bum themselves a last-minute drag - by
         stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of smokes in two

July 1, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

        Now that Mayor Bloomberg has
        succeeded in making cigarette prices here among the
        highest in the nation, he's embarking on a not-so-subtle
        campaign to ensure the entire region follows the city's lead.

        From noon today, cigarettes will be about $7 a pack with
        the city taxes going up from 8 cents to $1.42.

July 2, 2002
        By Ikimulisa Sockwell-Mason and Gill Smith

         With new city taxes bringing the average price of a
         pack of cigarettes to a whopping $7, smokers yesterday
         began abandoning their usual deli and newsstand stops for
         cheaper sources - giving merchants a pain in the pocketbook.

July 2, 2002
        Smoke tax burns them up
        Page Six

        NOTABLE New Yorkers are fired up over Mayor
        Bloomberg's tax hike on cigarettes that has ushered in the
        era of $7-a-pack smokes. Food Network star and
        "Kitchen Confidential" author Anthony Bourdain described
        the "sin tax" as "shameful. It's the beginning of the end of
        civilization as we know it. I thought New York was the
        smoking section of the world, but pretty soon we're gonna
        end up like Aspen. [Smokers] are on the run. They're
        hunting us like dogs, and they're shooting the wounded."

August 6, 2002
        By David Seifman

        Cigarette sales here plummeted by half after the city hiked
        its tax by $1.42 a pack - but despite the decline in sales, tax
        revenues skyrocketed beyond projections, according to
        figures released yesterday.

        Officials concede that smokers can easily evade the tax by
        shopping outside the five boroughs, especially at tax-free
        Indian reservations, and on the Internet.

        Raj Patel, who has operated a newsstand on Park Row
        across from City Hall since 1989, said his customers are
        deserting him in droves.

August 10, 2002
         By Andy Geller and David Seifman

         Welcome to the new Prohibition. That's what bar and
          restaurant owners were fuming yesterday as they lit into
          Mayor Bloomberg's plan to ban smoking in city bars and
          eateries - and even at outdoor cafes.

August 10, 2002

         Mayor Bloomberg makes no bones
         about the fact that when it comes to smoking, he's a

         No surprise, then, that his health commissioner - Dr. Thomas
         Frieden - has declared war on tobacco.

         For the record, smoking is dumb.

         But the mayor's proposed extension of the city's smoking
         ban to all restaurants and bars strikes us as overkill.

         Though couched as an occupational-safety bill - aimed at
         protecting restaurant workers from the effects of
         second-hand smoke - the Bloomberg ban's real purpose
         clearly is to make it increasingly tough for those who choose
         to smoke to do so.

August 10, 2002
        By Steve Dunleavy

        CONSENTING adults are allowed to
        make love in the house they own or rent - I don't see
        anything wrong with that.

        With that said, however, if they acted out their paradise on
        Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, they would be behind bars in the
        Tombs faster than you can say "Darling, it's the moment."

        Yet I can smoke on Fifth Avenue free and clear, but
        according to Mayor Bloomberg I cannot go to my
        gentlemen's pub, Langan's, to have a cigarette while I burst
        myself into oblivion with alcohol.

        But the governor of the pub pays a chunk of money to own
        the joint. How can you make love in a house you own or rent
        but you can't smoke in the place the man owns or rents?

August 10, 2002
         By Braden Keil

         GOOD for you, Mayor Bloomberg!

         As a reformed smoker, and a man who still enjoys a few
         cocktails, I applaud your proposal to ban smoking in bars and
         restaurants, or any other establishment where people enjoy

August 13, 2002
         By Jamie Schram

         Nearly 75 percent of New Yorkers
         believe smoking should be snuffed out in the workplace,
         according to a new poll by an anti-smoking group.

         The NYC Coalition For a Smoke-Free City survey of 1,000
         citizens says that smoking kills more than 440,000 people
         nationwide each year, including 10,000 New Yorkers.

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note - An anti-smoking organization commissioned this survey.  Might as well hold up a survey conducted by the tobacco industry and call it definitive proof.

August 13, 2002
         By David Seifman

        Anti-smoking advocates who convinced Mayor Bloomberg to
        propose a tough new law banning butts in bars, company cars and all
        restaurants have already zeroed in on their next targets: parks and

August 13, 2002
         By Al Guart

         The Pataki administration is coming under fire for
         failing to collect up to $250 million a year in cigarette taxes
         from sales made by Native Americans and out-of-state

August 13, 2002
        Drink, Bet --- But Don't Light Up!
        Rich Lowry

       The case against the smoking prohibitions should... be based on
       freedom.  Is getting together with friends to smoke over a meal
       such a noxious activity that it should -- like taking heroin or
       exposing yourself in public -- be banned outright?

       Are people so childish that they can't figure out for themselves
       whether to take "the risk" of sharing a cigarette over a

       Is the U.S. economy so restrictive that bartenders and waitresses
      who don't want to work in a smoky environmnet can't pick
      themselves up and get a job elsewhere?

      Do we really need the government to tell us, as the the New
       York law proposes, exactly where and in what circumstances
      ashtrays can be displayed?

      The answers are all "no" -- unless you, like Bloomberg and so many
      others across the country, have become a morality-free Puritan.

August 14, 2002
        By Andy Geller

        Mayor Bloomberg isn't going to get smokers to quit by
        calling them "stupid," experts said yesterday.

August 14, 2002
         By Andy Geller and Marianne Garvey

         If Mayor Bloomberg's proposed smoking ban passes,
         European - and even American - tourists say they will bid
         adieu to the Big Apple.

August 14, 2002
         Smokers Unite
         Page Six

         JUST as higher taxes failed to force smokers to quit, the
         Draconian new restrictions Mayor Bloomberg proposes
         won’t stop nicotine freaks from lighting up. "Smokers have
         been oppressed for a long time, and they are very
         adaptable," pointed out one gravel-voiced source. Tourists
         who smoke will simply pick other cities to spend their
         vacations. Local smokers will entertain more at home. Some
         are looking into the possibility of private clubs. And if hotel
         lobbies are exempted, you can bet that smokers will be
         spending more time in them. "Bloomberg can inconvenience
         us and drive us underground," said one smoker, "but he can’t
         stop us."

August 15, 2002
        By Jared Paul Stern

        Mayor Bloomberg, however, seems intent on ushering in a
        second Prohibition with his anti-smoking crusade, turning the
        city into a Los Angeles-like playland whose inhabitants are
        treated like idiot children - a role they clearly relish, though
        we would not.

        Bloomberg may find himself back in the private sector again
        selling computers or whatever sooner than he thinks if he
        doesn't abandon this hopeless cause.

       After all, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a man who employed
       the martini as his chief aide in diplomacy, was swept into
       office on an anti-Prohibition platform in 1932, obliterating
       Herbert Hoover - also a rich businessman before he took

August 16, 2002
        SAVE OUR PUBS!
        Let workers and diners decide about smoking
        By Des O'Brien - owner of Langan's Bar & Restaurant in Manhattan

        MAYOR Bloomberg has proposed newer and stiffer legislation concerning
        "The Smoke-Free Air Act."

        If passed, the bill will prevent smoking in all bars, taverns
        and restaurants throughout New York City.

        It's a bad bill - and unfair, to boot.

August 16, 2002
        Fran fans flame for smokers
        Page Six

        The social satirist [Fran Lebowitz] took on Mayor Bloomberg and his
        Draconian new propsals to ban smoking from all bars,
        restaurants, public parks and beaches, Wednesday on NY1's
        "Inside City Hall."

        "It's absurd. It's childish. It's peevesh . . . pious . . .
        anti-urban . . . anti-democratic . . . and hypocritical,"
        Lebowitz told host Andrew Kirtzman.

         "And I don't believe the data on second-hand smoke
         anyway. I'm 51 years old, and I have never known anyone
         who died from sitting next to someone smoking in a

         Lebowitz ranted that whether she smokes or not - and
         where - is "none of Bloomberg's business." She added that
         the billionaire mayor had a "poor understanding of
         democracy" and criticized his paternalistic behavior: "Mayor
         Bloomberg is acting like my father . . . If he is my father, I
         hope I am in the will."

August 17, 2002

        When exactly did Mayor Mike turn into Mommy Mike?

        It turns out there is more - much more - to the mayor's latest
        anti-smoking plan than the ostensible workplace-safety
        initiative that he's touting.

        Bloomberg wants to ban smoking literally everywhere within
        four walls, save for private homes and apartments.

        No doubt they'll be next.

August 18, 2002
         By Linda Stasi

        ONE day your name is Bloomberg, and
        the next it's Caesar. One day you're elected mayor in a
        democratic election, and the next you're looking for
        something in a nice laurel wreath.

        Now comes Bloomy. First, he raised cigarette taxes so high
        that he's now the only person in the city with enough money
        left to buy a pack. Not that he would, because, as we all
        know, he doesn't smoke. Cigarettes. He did say he once
        enjoyed toking up a little weed, which is now probably
        cheaper than Marlboros.

        But even that wasn't enough to satisfy Little Caesar. Next
        he proposed banning smoking in all bars and restaurants to
        protect workers. Right.

       Buzzy O'Keefe, owner of the River Cafe and the Water
       Club, who spent bazillions on bar-area air purifying systems,
       said he's never had one bartender complain of smoke. I
       mean, if you hate smoke, why would you mix drinks for a
       living? That's like a cabby who fears traffic.

      Now, he and the world's most annoying human, anti-smoking
      Nazi Joe Cherner, want smoking banned in parks, beaches,
      and yes, even in company cars. How they'd find smoking
      criminals driving company cars is hard to imagine.

      Cherner says smoking should be added to the other "don'ts"
      in parks like alcohol, dogs and loud music. Like those are
      good bans? How about standing? Is walking on the beach
      still OK? Eating a doughnut?

August 18, 2002
         Sheriff Mike Aims To Corral Smokers
         Cindy Adams

         Sheriff Mike aims to corrall smokers

         IT'S High Noon in this here frontier town of New York City.
         There's a warrant out for smokers. The sheriff's putting
         together a posse to nail them desperadoes.

         Ain't nobody going into no saloon without holstering their
         Marlboros or hanging up their Menthol Lites.

         Let's all saddle up and git us a smoker.

         Lordy, where is Gary Cooper when you need him?

         Never mind killers with box cutters and Saturday Night
         Specials. We're after the real bad hombres. The cigarette

August 18, 2002
        By Bridget Harrison

        "Where's the fun gone in this city?" I
        overheard a guy groaning in my deli last week. "If they're
        going to ban smoking in bars, can they at least put the
        cocaine back in Coca-Cola?"

        "If I'd wanted to live somewhere uptight," he added, "I would
         have moved to L.A."

         I couldn't help but agree.

        Why is this hedonistic city - whose unofficial motto is
        "anything goes" - even considering a proposal to ban smoking
         in bars and possibly parks?

         When I transferred to New York almost two years ago, I
          fell in love with the city's open-minded attitude, especially
          compared to London.

August 18, 2002
         By Al Guart

         The NYPD's newly formed Cigarette Interdiction
         Group has arrested seven bootleggers and seized 1,305
         cartons of untaxed smokes since the city hiked cigarette taxes July 2.

         CIG cops also confiscated one vehicle and executed one search
         warrant as of last week, said Deputy Inspector Michael Brooks,
         commander of the NYPD's Vice Enforcement Division.

         But so far, no big-time smuggling operations have been uncovered
         and organized-crime families, with a history of contraband
         smuggling, are not believed to be involved.

         "It's all low-level, clandestine sales," Brooks said.

August 19, 2002
         Page Six

         HARPER’S magazine editor Lewis Lapham has joined the
         cause of New York’s most oppressed, and least organized,
         minority - smokers. On Monday, Lapham, 67, installed a glass
         door on his office so he can continue to light up during work.
         “Until now, I had always kept my door open at the office because I
         thought it was an important part of running a magazine,” Lapham
         told PAGE SIX. “Now people can see me and if I am smoking
         and they choose to come in, it’s their decision.” Lapham
         said so far, no one to his knowledge has refused to enter
         his office. The editor has also taken up the fight against
         Mayor Bloomberg and his Draconian campaign to ban
         smoking from all bars, restaurants, public parks and
         beaches. “I don’t agree with these prohibitions,” Lapham
         said. “It’s the government going too far. It’s foolish and
         oppressive. New York has a lot of problems, and I don’t
         think this is one of its biggest. There must be more
         important things for the mayor of New York to do.”

August 22, 2002
        By Erika Martinez

        A group of fuming mad restaurant and
        bar owners held an emergency meeting in a Midtown pub last
        night to plan ways to combat Mayor Bloomberg's proposed
        butt ban.

        Some 70 of them unanimously agreed to contribute $25,000 to
        launch a public relations campaign reaching out to City
        Council members and other politicians.

        "We will continue to fight this bill with every ounce of energy
        that we have - as a group and as individuals," said Jack
        Cooke, president of the United Restaurant and Liquor
        Dealers of Manhattan, an organization of bar and restaurant

August 24, 2002
        Smokers Unite!
        Page Six

        ANYONE who's not happy with Mike Bloomberg's crusade
        against smokers should show up at City Hall on Monday. A
        group of freedom-loving citizens led by artist Scott LoBaido
        will converge on City Hall at 6 p.m. to demand that the
        mayor drop his quest to see cigarettes banned from all city
        bars and restaurants. Organizers will hand out flyers with
        statistics from OSHA, the Dept. of Energy, and the surgeon
        general to counter Bloomberg's wild claims about the
        dangers of secondhand smoke.

August 27, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

        City officials have seized 11,800 packs of cigarettes
        from 40 unlicensed vendors in a crackdown on the illegal
        sale of tobacco to minors, it was announced yesterday.

August 27, 2002
         By Brad Hunter

        Gasp! Smokers visiting the U.S. Open are finding it a battle
        to butt out - literally.

        A search of the sprawling USTA compound in Flushing
        failed to turn up a single ashtray in spite of the platoons of
        puffers smoking away. Instead, workers picked up every
        discarded cigarette.

        This isn't the latest anti-smoking salvo from Mayor
        Bloomberg, the site has been anti-smoker for years.

        "They're not going to stop you from smoking, but they're
        not going to promote it either," said a bartender at the
        Heineken Red Star Cafe.

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note:  Another case of stupidity on the part of the anti-smoker cartel with a touch of plot.  They'd prefer butts on the ground in their insane attempt to "desocialize" smoking (discouraging smoking by not putting out ashtrays) and then use the litter as ammunition against smokers.

September 18, 2002
        Suffolk Pols Join Anti-Cig Crusade

Suffolk County lawmakers yesterday joined their counterparts in New York City, Nassau and Westchester counties in proposing a ban on smoking in public places.

Their proposed legislation would allow smoking only in private homes and in private, enclosed offices occupied exclusively by smokers.  The only place smoking would be permitted would be in outdoor seating areas at bars and restaurants.

September 19, 2002
        Where There's No Smoke, There's Ire
        Steve Dunleavy

It all happened yesterday at Gallagher's restaurant on West 52nd Street, where smokers said enough was enough.

Political correctness - fine.

But Draconian, Nazi tactics - no good.

Take note, Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

General manager Bryan Reidy of Gallagher's launched a first shot across the bows of those who want us to stay sober and smoke less.

"What we would like is for the City of New York - which is demanding that we in the bar business ban smoking - to realize that we're a service industry and pay a whopping tax to the city to make sure the less fortunate have some of our money," Reidy said.

September 25, 2002
            By David Seifman

        Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to ban smoking in bars faces rough sledding in the City Council - and will almost certainly
        undergo changes, officials said yesterday.

        "I very seriously doubt it's going to survive intact," said one council official. "[Council] members are all over the place on

        Phil Reed (D-Manhat tan), an outspoken opponent, plans to introduce his own smoking-related bill next month - to
        legalize marijuana for medical use.

        "There's this puritanical attitude around health issues that's driving me crazy," he said.

September 28, 2002
        Cops flick butt-leggers
        By Jessie Graham

        Cops seized more than 1,200 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes from a Queens home where authorities said a mom, pop
        and son ran a $5 million-a-year bootleg operation, DA Richard Brown said yesterday.

        Brown said a torrent of untaxed cigarettes, including fakes, has been pouring into the city since the state raised the
        cigarette tax, making the price of legal smokes $7.50 a pack.

        The fakes -- which smoke hotter and taste drier than legal butts, and are often laced with sawdust -- sell for about $50 a
        carton, while name brands sell for $70-$75 a carton, Brown said.

September 30, 2002
        By Joe McGurk and Steven Hirsch

If Mayor Bloomberg really wants to crack down on smoking and make city government more efficient, maybe he should start in his own back yard.

At the city's Housing Authority headquarters - just a cigarette-butt flip across Broadway from City Hall - dozens of authority employees brazenly chain-smoke, some taking nearly five times their allotment of two breaks a day.

Heavy-smoker employee Michelle Petrone said, "Smokers don't get less done at work - no, I get more done."

October 1, 2002
        By Ikimulisa Sockwell-Mason and Frankie Edozien

A smoking-mad Mayor Bloomberg immediately ordered Housing Authority bigs to get off their butts yesterday after reading a Post exposé about employees puffing away when they should be working.

But a handful, avoiding the main entrance to the building at 250 Broadway, were still turning side streets into Tobacco Road.

One of them, Luis Cruz, was unapologetic.

"I can't speak for every individual, but I work very hard in my office. I come outside for a cigarette for a few minutes and go back inside," he said.

October 2, 2002
        By David Seifman

A top Housing Authority official has smoked himself out of an $80,000-a-year job.

After consulting with the mayor's office, Housing chairman Tino Hernandez yesterday ordered the immediate firing of Robert Swinton, the deputy director of the Office of Facility Planning, one of five employees spotted by a Post reporter last week in extended smoking sessions outside the agency's headquarters at 250 Broadway.

October 3, 2002
        By David Seifman

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday not only defended the firing of a top housing official caught on an extended smoke break - but declared defiantly that he was the one who ordered it.

October 9, 2002

A day after lawmakers in neighboring Nassau County enacted a law banning smoking in public places, the Suffolk County Legislature took up similar legislation yesterday, but not before supporters and detractors spewed their respective points of view in dueling press conferences.

After hearing from both sides, lawmakers representing eastern Long Island will vote on the proposal at their November meeting.

Suffolk County Executive Robert Gaffney will wait until the legislation reaches his desk before deciding whether to sign it, a spokesman said.

October 10, 2002
            By Philip Messing and Brad Hunter

A former undercover NYPD cop launched a lawsuit yesterday that took aim at safety issues - and smoking infractions.

Richard Tamayo announced a two-prong, $10 mllion class-action suit against the NYPD at a press conference near City Hall.

The 12-year police veteran, who's still on the job as a detective, claims the NYPD discriminated against undercover cops, "subjecting [them] . . . to working conditions that violate NYPD safety" guidelines.

Tamayo, who filed the suit along with John Bank and others, includes his smoking complaints in the same suit.

He alleges police brass have taken retaliatory action against personnel who complain about smoking in the workplace. Tamayo declined specifics about the violations.

October 10, 2002
            By David Seifman

Mayor Bloomberg equated secondhand smoke with murder yesterday and vowed no compromise as he prepared for a showdown in the City Council today over his tough new proposed smoking ban.

Bar owners said they've been making inroads in convincing some council members that their businesses won't survive a total smoking ban.

"They've had a tough 18 months as it is," said Brian Rohan of the United Restaurant and Liquor Dealers Association. "This will be a killer blow to them."

Richard Lipsky, representing the New York Nightlife Association, questioned Bloomberg's figures, saying the latest federal study in 1993 had just 3,000 dying of secondhand smoke nationwide.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden said the estimated 1,000 victims here is extrapolated from data on 30,000 heart-attack deaths across the country.

"We know the majority of deaths from secondhand smoke are actually deaths related to heart attack," he said

"It's a leap of bad faith," countered Lipsky.

October 11, 2002

Mayor Mike sure has been blowing some serious smoke lately.

Take Hizzoner's testimony yesterday before the City Council concerning his prohibitionist, er, proposed smoking ban: "The air in a smoke-filled bar is more dangerous to breathe than that in the Holland Tunnel at rush hour."

Pretty scary, no?

But he offered not a scintilla of proof.

Nor did his alleged expert on the subject, a fellow purported by Mayor Bloomberg to be a specialist in such things.

October 11, 2002
        Butt-basher's troubled past
        Page Six

THE latest recruit in Mayor Bloomberg's tyrannical campaign to ban cigarette smoking in bars and restaurants, Jeffrey Wigand, is an alleged wife-beater who betrayed his colleagues for money. Wigand is hailed by anti-smoking zealots as a heroic whistleblower. But according to Wigand's ex-wife, Lucretia Nimocks, he sold out Brown & Williamson after he was fired and couldn't get another job in the tobacco industry. Nimocks told The Post in 2000, after she sued Disney for misrepresenting her in "The Insider," that Wigand used to smack her and beat her until she was bloodied. She said, "I don't recall [Wigand] having any moral dilemma about working at a tobacco company." Wigand is also accused of having faked his own death threats, of being a deadbeat dad, and of having an arsenal at home including "law-enforcement grade" ammuntion and enough gunpowder
to "blow up a city block." Wife-beating charges against him were dropped. Disney dismissed Nimmocks' claims as "stale
allegations" and part of an "attempt to discredit" him.

October 11, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

Mayor Bloomberg brought his crusade for smoke-free bars to the City Council yesterday, lashing out at opponents as being part of a "well-orchestrated disinformation campaign" by Big Tobacco.

Bloomberg said the long list of people who would be voicing support for his bill were not paid by Big Tobacco, adding, "That is a statement that some of those who will be testifying against . . . will not be able to make."

Several business owners took issue with Bloomberg's comments, saying they were not being encouraged by the tobacco industry.

Jim McBratney, president of Staten Island Restaurant and Tavern Association, ripped the anti-smoking proposal as too broad.

"This is not a government of Mike, by Mike and for Mike," he said.

Ciaran Staunton, owner of O'Neills in Manhattan, also lashed out at Bloomberg.

"I am not on the payroll of any cigarette company. The only people I represent here, Mr. Mayor, is my wife and two children," Staunton said, insisting the ban would put him out of business.

October 14, 2002
        By Jonathan Foreman

THOUGH I am not a smoker, Mayor Bloomberg's drive to ban smoking from every corner of every bar and restaurant in New York still seems creepy and wrongheaded.

It is weird enough that his administration seems to feel so confident it's solved such social problems as crime, homelessness and dysfunctional schools that it can expend time and energy on the smoking crisis.

But the most distasteful thing about this puritanical, righteous crusade is its deep contempt for ordinary people and the choices they make.

The mayor promotes his coercive legislation as protecting the health of people who work in bars and restaurants, as if they have no choice but to assume some great risk. But even if you buy the much-debated science on the risk of second-hand smoke, this is preposterous.

October 14, 2002
        Smoke this
        Page Six

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter went head-on with Mayor Bloomberg at Andrew Stein's dinner party last week.  The dinner, in a private room at The Four Seasons, was in full bloom when Carter took out a cigarette and lit up right in front of the virulently anti-smoking mayor.  As Howard Stringer, Amanda Burden, Mike Wallace and Roger Waters looked on in amusement, Bloomberg bit his tongue while Charlie Rose suggested the two debate the issue on his show.  Carter declined but proposed his pal Fran Lebowitz instead.

October 16, 2002
        By David Seifman

Cigarette sales in the city plummeted last month, with just one-third as many packs sold as before the city added a hefty $1.50
tax, The Post has learned.

In September, 10.5 million cigarette packs crossed store counters - compared to 29.2 million in June, according to sources basing estimates on tax-stamp data.

That's a 64 percent decrease.

On July 1, the city hiked its tax on cigarettes from 8 cents to $1.50 a pack, sending many smokers scrambling for cheaper
sources of nicotine on the Internet and from tax-free Indian reservations.

The higher cigarette tax is part of a two-pronged drive against smokers by Bloomberg.

The mayor is also pushing a tough new law to ban smoking in bars and other public areas, ranging from hotel lobbies to cigar bars.

October 19, 2002
        By David Seifman

ANTI-SMOKING crusader Joe Cherner has been hammering City Council Speaker Gifford Miller for refusing to embrace the mayor's proposed law that would ban smoking in bars and other public spaces.

But last week, Cherner realized he may have gone too far.

In an e-mail to supporters of the tough new restrictions, Cherner criticized Miller for refusing to meet with smoke-free advocates, saying he had "never seen or heard of a Council member unwilling to meet with his or her constituents."

Cherner urged New Yorkers to write Miller and tell him how they feel.

Ninety minutes later, Cherner fired off a second e-mail.

"Yes, I believe the Speaker's actions are outrageous, insulting, wrong, etc. and he deserves to be criticized," Cherner wrote. "All criticism, however, should be highly respectful. I have known the Speaker for many years and he is a good person."

October 23, 2002
        By Stephanie Gaskell

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday lit into bodega owners who griped on the steps of City Hall that their businesses will soon go up in smoke because of a dramatic drop in cigarette sales.

Bloomberg vigorously defended the higher cigarette tax - which bodega owners said was killing their business - insisting it would stop young people from smoking.

"I just find it inconceivable that you could equate people's lives - particularly children that buy cigarettes in bodegas - with a minor economic issue," Bloomberg said.

"It's not fair to target one small segment of the New York City retail economy to try to balance the budget," said Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist for small groceries and cig maker Philip Morris.

According to Lipsky, 10,000 stores have declared bankruptcy or foreclosed this year - an all-time record high for the city.

During the protest at City Hall, about a dozen bodega owners said they are being unfairly targeted.

"I think that Bloomberg is an enemy of minority-owned businesses," said Jose Fernandez, president of the Bodega Association, which represents about 7,000 bodega owners.

Fernandez also said small-store owners are losing out to cigarette black-market dealers.

"It's impossible for us to compete with this illegal and criminal activity," he said.

In another smoking-related development, James Oddo, the City Council Republican leader, yesterday asked Speaker Gifford Miller to schedule a vote on Oddo's competing cigarette bill - which is less far-reaching than Bloomberg's.

October 24, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

The 16-year-old son of a Housing Authority official axed for a long cigarette break has written an impassioned letter to Mayor
Bloomberg describing how his family has been destroyed by the mayor's punishment.

"How would you feel if you knew your mother cried every day?" Robert Swinton Jr. wrote in the two-page letter that mixed bitter anger at Bloomberg with sad details of his parents' plight.

The senior Swinton, who was an $80,000 deputy director of facility planning at the housing agency, was canned by City Hall after The Post earlier this month clocked him and four other workers taking longer-than-allowed cigarette breaks.

The mayor has given conflicting accounts of Swinton's firing, at one point saying he directly ordered it and at another saying it was done by Housing Authority officials after he consulted with them.

The boy's mother, Margaret, said in an interview that she considers her husband a victim of the mayor's anti-smoking crusade. "My husband is a hard-working individual that didn't deserve what happened to him," said Mrs. Swinton, 40.

October 24, 2002
        By Philip Messing

Cops say a Bronx cigarette warehouse was like the Golden Goose to four thieves who burglarized it four times since last
summer before laying an egg when they were arrested with $65,000 in stolen smokes.

The quartet allegedly stole an estimated $150,000 in cigarettes from the S&A Cigarette Co., cops said.

Sources said they believe the contraband - about half of which had the coveted NYS tax stamps on them - was being offered for sale at wholesale prices.

On Tuesday, Detective Jose Ramirez of the 40th Precinct got information that a cache of the stolen cigarettes was being stored in two vans at East 198th Street and Webster Avenue.

Police Officers Carlos Lopez, Chris Gonzalez and George Vanwellenger descended upon the location and arrested four men.

October 24, 2002
        GET A GRIP, MIKE

Mayor Bloomberg three weeks ago ordered the firing of one Robert H. Swinton, a senior planner for the Housing Authority.

Swinton's offense? It seems he had gone on two smoking breaks, totaling 69 minutes.

Then City Hall received a heartfelt letter from Swinton's 16-year-old son detailing the devastating impact that the firing has had on the family. The Post prints excerpts of the letter in its news pages today.

As the letter points out, the elder Swinton apparently didn't exceed the legitimate daily time off a city worker is permitted (a total of 90 minutes, covering lunch and coffee breaks): The real reason that Swinton was fired was because he was caught - by a Post photographer - smoking.

In the brave new Bloomberg world, there apparently is no greater sin.

Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that the mayor's anti-smoking campaign is rooted in a disturbing obsession.

Bodega owners protested at City Hall Tuesday that high cigarette taxes are killing their business.

The mayor basically told the owners to get lost - denigrating their concerns as "a minor economic issue."

The statement is one of stunning arrogance that may have severe consequences down the road.

Mayor Bloomberg needs to understand that his obsession is out of control.

And then he needs to reinstate Bob Swinton - who broke no rules, and who most certainly committed no crime.

Today would do nicely.

October 25, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

Housing Authority officials yesterday said the decision to can a manager caught taking extended smoking breaks was irreversible - even though several other cigarette-loving workers just got their wrists slapped.

Robert Swinton was fired from his $80,000-a- year job at the authority after The Post revealed he had been smoking for 69 minutes.

"Several changes had taken place and Mr. Swinton's supervisors were already poised to take disciplinary action against him due to concerns about his lack of effectiveness as a manager," he added.

"His actions in flagrantly disregarding Housing Authority time and privileges solidified our thinking and resulted in the decision to terminate his employment."

But Marder admitted that in Swinton's 51/2 years with the agency, he had no disciplinary actions in his personnel file.

Swinton has refused to comment, but his wife continues to maintain that he was a sacrificial lamb.

"My husband was used a political scapegoat in the mayor's war on smoking," Margaret Swinton said yesterday.

October 25, 2002
        By Stephanie Gaskell

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday had an unlikely ally in his campaign against smoking: a giant cigarette.

The drug company Pharmacia held a press conference at City Hall to promote its nicotine patch product, Nicotrol.

The pharmaceutical firm hired an act or to wear an 8-foot cigarette costume. Dubbed "Craving Man," the actor approached a mock smoker and offered him a cigarette. The actor refused and opted for a patch instead.

"Since Bloomberg is anti-smoking, that kind of seemed like the obvious place to start," said Kim Whittig, a spokeswoman
for the campaign.

The p.r. stunt on the City Hall steps raised eyebrows because it was apparently aimed solely at promoting a product - the nicotine patch.

"That's not a traditional activity at City Hall," said Jeffrey Friedlander, a lawyer with the city Corporation Counsel office. "We'll definitely look into it if it becomes a problem."

October 30, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

City Council members are quietly floating modified proposals to Mayor Bloomberg's tough indoor-smoking bill in hopes of reaching a compromise, The Post has learned.

Sources said that while most council members are ready to ban smoking in bars, there wasn't agreement on other parts of the Bloomberg bill, which also applies to restaurants and outdoor cafes.

One insider described the new council proposals as "modifications that were relatively minor - but not completely."

Bloomberg wants to ban smoking in just about all public spaces, from bars to billiard parlors - including hotel lobbies.

One change that several council members are advocating would allow smoking near hotel elevators, sources said.

The only exemptions in the mayor's bill are for private homes and cars, hotel rooms, tobacco outlets and limousines.

Officials on both sides tried to downplay the behind-the-scenes negotiations, saying there was no breakthrough.

October 31, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday stamped out negotiations over his tough anti-smoking bill, refusing to bow to exemptions sought by the City Council, sources told The Post.

"It's all or nothing to them [the Bloomberg administration]," said one frustrated council insider after a flurry of meetings. "They are being totally unreasonable."

During talks at City Hall with Bloomberg's aides, the council's representatives argued for a number of exemptions to Bloomberg's anti-smoking bill, which would ban smoking in bars, restaurants, outdoor cafes and many other public places.

Exemptions sought by the council include:

* The city's seven cigar bars.

* Nightclubs.

* Small bars and family-run eateries, which may also have bars.

November 1, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday strongly defended his refusal to compromise on his tough anti-smoking bill, saying he won't make any deal with the City Council that endangers the health of a single bar or restaurant worker.

Bloomberg's hard-line stance came as a hearing on his controversial bill scheduled for today was scrapped - signaling a continuing deadlock in negotiations over the measure after talks between Bloomberg and the council broke off on Wednesday.

Council insiders, frustrated over Bloomberg's no-compromise position, blamed the impasse on the mayor and said they
would offer no other alternatives.

November 1, 2002

It's only too clear that Mayor Bloomberg has gone over the edge when the City Council is the more reasonable party in a political debate.

But that's where things stand now, after negotiations between the mayor and the council on a proposed smoking ban collapsed Wednesday.

On the merits, the collapse should be seen as a good thing. The only lobbying for tobacco prohibition is coming from a small group of extremists and their servants in the political class; the status quo is fine.

But Bloomberg is obsessed by the idea. He wants a complete ban: restaurants, bars, outdoor cafes and more.

At a time when the mayor needs as much support as possible because of some really tough decisions involving a multibillion-dollar city budget hole, why is he squandering essential political capital on what is ultimately a vanity issue?

Why can't Bloomberg take yes for an answer and move on?

Why? Because, as noted above, he is obsessed with a need to practically criminalize tobacco use - to the exclusion of nearly all else.

Witness his willingness to sign another budget-buster - a bill forcing contractors to pay workers a so-called "living wage" - in exchange for the ban.

It's insanity.

But that's to be expected when the mayor becomes a one-issue ideologue.

November 2, 2002
         By David Seifman

Mayor Bloomberg has 10 days to reach a deal on his new anti-smoking bill - or risk returning to square one, City Council sources said yesterday.

The council scheduled another hearing Nov. 12 on the mayor's proposed legislation to ban smoking in bars and most other indoor public areas.

Officials said the council is prepared to give Bloomberg "95 percent of what he wants."

But it's insisting on some exclusions, including cigar bars, small owner-operated bars and bars willing to install smoking rooms for patrons where employees would be barred.

The sticking point centers on the smoking rooms.

Some officials said the council and administration are so close that a deal appears likely, but others said time is running out.

"If we can't get them to agree to some amendments, we'll start over again," said a council source.

November 3, 2002
        Mayor Fume-berg matchless when it comes to gall
        Linda Stasi

TALK about the blooming gall of it all! How dare all those little people pollute his billion-air! Yes, last week, one-term Mayor Bloomberg had nicotine-free smoke coming out of his ears after the City Council had the nerve- the nerve!- to try to negotiate with him about his smoking-ban demand. Democracy can go only so far, you know.

In fact, Bloomberg was so ticked off that he stomped out of the City Council hearings looking more like Eloise at The Plaza than the mayor at City Hall. I mean, don’t these people know who he is?

November 7, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

Even as talks between Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council on his controversial anti-smoking bill intensified yesterday, the mayor revealed a last-ditch weapon to bypass legislators if there's no deal - a public referendum.

"If I were to fail, I guess you could consider that," Bloomberg said in response to questions about a similar ballot initiative that passed in Florida.

Bloomberg indicated that a citywide voter referendum on his smoking initiative would be a last resort.

A referendum- which likely wouldn't be on the ballot until next November - would mean no new law could be on the books for at least a year.

Negotiations stepped up yesterday in an attempt to reach a compromise before a hearing Nov. 12.

November 8, 2002
        By Chris Norwood
        Chris Norwood is the founder and executive director of Health Force: Community Preventive Health Institute in the
           South Bronx.

LOW-income and working-class neighborhoods should be the biggest beneficiaries of anti-smoking policy. But the drive to criminalize smoking offers these neighborhoods little, if anything, in terms of public health. Instead, they face a future in which they will be stripped of literally billions of dollars, lose their few remaining businesses and see their civic life further marginalized.

November 12, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

The city housing official fired for taking extended smoking breaks plans to forcefully condemn Mayor Bloomberg's anti-smoking proposals today at a City Council hearing, The Post has learned.

Robert Swinton says he intends to tell the council that he's been made a sacrificial lamb in the mayor's anti-smoking crusade. "I'm going to tell them they can't pass this bill because it discriminates against smokers. It's not fair," Swinton said.

November 13, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

Mayor Bloomberg's anti-smoking proposals could shutter after-school programs, increase quality-of-life crime, and hinder drug-treatment programs, opponents charged yesterday.

The critics spoke out at the second hearing of the City Council's Health Committee on the controversial issue.

If enacted, the law would close down bingo halls and shut off the funding stream for many youth programs and charities, said Adam Sandler, a bingo operator.

November 19, 2002
        By Johanna Huden

THE anti-smoking climate in the city is getting so fanatical, indignant non-smokers are taking the fight to the streets. Literally.

I was nearing a busy intersection at 47th and Sixth last Friday night when she hit me.

I was walking down Sixth Avenue when a very small woman came barreling across in front of me. She made it look like she was adjusting her backpack, but she reached up and hit me in the arm - hard, with a closed fist.

Stunned and with an aching arm, I quickly walked after her. She turned around, saw my angry face hovering a foot above her, and blurted: "Oh, you want to . . . uh, uh, your god-damn cancer stick."

Right there she admitted that she'd assaulted my body because I was smoking. Outside. In the open air. On the street. In New York City.

She had physically attacked me not because she felt threatened in any way, but just because I dared to smoke. Outside. In New York City.

It was a vicious, pre-emptive strike: I hadn't blown smoke in her face - I was just walking along, smoking.

Obviously, my squirrely friend wasn't normal at all. Only extremist zealots - like terrorists - use physical violence as a solution.

But when cities across the country, and now our own Mayor Bloomberg, are raving about smokers as public enemy No. 1, it gives ammunition - permission - to fanatics like my anger-management case. A smokers' right to not be physically assaulted is coming into question.

This can't be what the mayor has in mind, can it? Creating a climate of fear for private citizens engaged in legal activities? Mature, professional, tax-paying folks - who are breaking no law - facing open hostility in the street?

It's one thing to wave your hand in front of your nose when you pass a smoker - and that's pretty ridiculous if you're out in open air. But my experience takes the game to another level entirely: Government-sanctioned lynching.

November 23, 2002
        By Andy Soltis

New Yorkers, by 54 percent to 41 percent, back Mayor Bloomberg's sweeping plan to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants, a new poll shows.

But the survey of 1,004 registered city voters found strong opposition among smokers.

One out of five New Yorkers said they'd smoked at least one cigarette in a week, according to the Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday.

Among them, 64 percent were opposed to the ban, while only 32 percent favored it, the poll found.

November 30, 2002
By David Seifman

A new cigarette sales ban has gone into effect in city buildings and - believe it or not - this one wasn't at Mayor Bloomberg's behest.

The mayor, an outspoken opponent of smoking, has crusaded to place bars and other indoor public areas off-limits to the
puffing brigade.

However, it was back in 1989 when then-Mayor Ed Koch signed an executive order banning vendors in 52 city buildings from selling tobacco products.

Ten blind vendors operating with state licenses were exempt.

So was the vendor in the city building at 2 Lafayette St., who signed a lease before 1989.

About two years ago, the city began talking to the state about extending the cigarette sales ban to the blind vendors.

As of September, they're out of the tobacco sales business.

Jenny Rosado, a clerk for the grand jury at the Brooklyn court, questioned the ban's impact. "What's the difference if we buy them inside?" she said. "We're already paying $7.50 or $8 a pack."

December 7, 2002
        By Stephanie Gaskell and David Seifman

Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council have stepped up negotiations on the mayor's tough anti-smoking bill - with one source saying there's a "excellent chance" a deal will be reached next week.

Amid the first indications that Bloomberg is willing to compromise, council members are looking to win several exemptions to the mayor's sweeping proposal, such as excluding cigar bars and bars owned and run by the same person.

The council officials also want to create a provision allowing bars and restaurants to build special smoking rooms for patrons that would be off-limits to employees.

One source said Bloomberg has realized that his all-or-nothing approach hasn't worked, while Speaker Gifford Miller - a consistent smoking foe - is anxious to approve new smoking restrictions that most voters seem to endorse.

The insider told The Post there's "an excellent chance" a compromise will emerge next week.

"That's the sense I'm getting from both sides, which I never got before," said the insider.

Council leaders scheduled a third hearing on the controversial bill for next Friday, setting the stage for an agreement sometime before that date.

December 8, 2002
        By Steve Dunleavy

UNDOUBTEDLY, there is one passion of Mayor Mike on which we can all agree.  And that is he desperately wants the Olympic Games to be held in this city that never sleeps.

Think of the business, think of the jobs, think of the building, and think of the prestige.

Legions of rich Europeans, rich Middle Easterners, rich Asians, rich South Americans, rich Russians will descend on us with oodles of money.

But by the time they go home, they will have to believe that Mayor Mike has single-handedly turned New York City into his very own version of the puritanical dreams of Oliver Cromwell.

I received a letter from a great old broad, Jean McCormick Pochna, who at the age of 77, has not blunted her sword. She said to me in a neatly tied note:

"Can you really see an anticipated army of tourists coming to New York and being told they can't smoke in a sidewalk cafe?

"I have lived for years in Europe since my marriage in Paris in 1951 and believe me, Europeans smoke."

Des O'Brien, the publican of my esteemed gentlemen's club, Langan's, said: "If this all but comes to law, it will devastate the restaurant business. I'd be forced to lay off a chunk of my staff, taxpaying waiters, waitresses and bartenders."

December 11, 2002
        By Frederic U. Dicker

Gov. Pataki yesterday proposed a massive $4 billion bonding scheme to close this year’s $2 billion state budget gap and reduce the even larger deficit looming for next year.

Pataki’s unprecedented plan, which legislative fiscal experts called "the biggest one-shot revenue usage in history," would use $20 billion in tobacco-company settlement funds due the state over the next 20 years to guarantee the tax-exempt bonds.

Some of the tobacco revenues, which result from a 1999 settlement of national lawsuits against Big Tobacco for harming the public’s health, were pledged by Pataki and the state Legislature earlier this year to a controversial new health-care program backed by hospital workers union president Dennis Rivera.

December 11, 2002
        By Kenneth Lovett

ALBANY - The state is warning there could be a "period of time" next year when no cigarettes are available for sale in New York, The Post has learned.

The state Office of Fire Prevention and Control is expected to release regulations soon that will require that by next July, only self-extinguishing cigarettes can be sold in New York.

Buried in a progress report to the state Legislature obtained by The Post, the fire prevention office disclosed that tobacco companies fear they won’t be able to meet that mandate.

December 12, 2002
        By Angelina Cappiello, Jared Paul Stern and Bill Hoffmann

New Yorkers from all walks of life huffed and puffed over the city's expected new smoking law last night, with some predicting the bar business will go in the tank and others hailing it as a breath of fresh air.

"Bloomberg says he's going to protect me, but he's not going to subsidize my rent or pay my bills. And this is going to hurt business," said Noelle Mooney, the bar manager at St. Andrew's on West 44th Street.

Kelly Jones, 31, an ad saleswoman from Astoria, Queens, fired up a cigarette outside her Midtown building and screamed: "Oh, God - we're turning into L.A.!"

At the La Veranda bar on West 48th Street, Dominick D'Agostino, 64, of Syosset, L.I., shot off a look of disgust as he nursed his drink and a butt.

"It sucks!" he roared. "Bloomberg should go back into private business. He used to smoke, now he's punishing us.

"I'll go to New Jersey to smoke if I have to to!"

Forbes FYI editor Christopher Buckley, author of the big-tobacco satire "Thank You for Smoking," said Bloomberg "appears to be rewriting H.L. Mencken's famous definition of Puritanism as the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere is enjoying a smoke."

"It's the most cockamamie thing I've ever heard," said Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair. "It's the sort of plan that might work in an office building but makes no functional sense for a city or its restaurants."

Performer Denis Leary, whose smoke-filled act was once called "No Cure for Cancer," said, "I predict this law will be repealed within the next year.

"But until then I have a bar in my office, and people can come there and smoke."

December 12, 2002
        By Leah Haines

Pete's Candy Bar in Brooklyn could create a smoking room, but that might mean eliminating the live music space at the back of the bar.

Owners Juliana Nash and Andrew McDowell said they don't want to have to spend about $20,000 to build another music room if they enclosed the area where music is now played.

"It would be terrible," said Nash. "It would make the room a totally different thing.

Nash says the new anti-smoking law is "crazy."

"Bloomberg is not making any friends of small business owners with this," said Nash, who estimates 70 percent of his patrons smoke.

December 12, 2002
        BAR HUMBUG
        By David Seifman

It's lights out for smokers.

Mayor Bloomberg and City Council leaders announced yesterday that they've reached a long-awaited deal to ban smoking in most indoor public spaces - including bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

The new law takes effect 90 days after the mayor signs it, meaning late March or early April.

A public hearing is scheduled Friday at City Hall. Swift approval by the council is expected next week.

December 13, 2002
        MAYORAL MADNESS . . .

New York City is staring into the fiscal abyss. Taxes are up, and headed higher. There's a transit strike brewing - plus, speaking of which, bums are flaking out on subway seats again.

But Mayor Mike finally has his smoking ban.

First things first, right?

Who knows what he'll target next: Smoldering incense at St. Patrick's Cathedral? It's second-hand smoke, you know.

Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Giff Miller are patting each other on the back for saving the lives of "1,000 people in the city" every year - a currently unprovable figure predicated on the long-ago-proven "Big Lie" theory: Tell it often enough, and loudly enough, and pretty soon it becomes received wisdom.

Beginning next March, folks won't be permitted to smoke outside of their own homes - and you can bet that's where Mayor Mike will send the tobacco cops next.

December 13, 2002
        By Stephanie Gaskell

The city Health Department is warning doctors they could face malpractice suits if they don't push patients to kick the smoking habit - stunning physicians around the city who've never heard of such a case.

The Health Department's quarterly newsletter, mailed to doctors, devotes its entire November issue to nicotine addiction and issues a stern warning.

"Because physician intervention can be so effective, failure to provide optimal counseling and treatment is failure to meet the standard of care - and could be considered malpractice!" the newsletter states.

The mailing surfaced as the Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council have agreed on one of the strongest anti-smoking bills in the country, banning smoking in most bars, restaurants and public places.

Both doctors and lawyers expressed concern about the implications of medical malpractice cases against doctors for failing to treat nicotine addiction.

The American Medical Association said it's never heard of such a malpractice case, nor heard of any organization warning against such action. But the AMA declined to comment any further.

Scott Einiger, general counsel for the New York County Medical Society, called the Health Department's warning "an impossible standard."

A Health Department spokeswoman defended the mailing as a tool "to educate, influence and improve medical practice."

"We provide education and information to physicians and patients so that physicians can provide optimal treatment to their patients and also limit their potential liability," said spokeswoman Sandra Mullin.

December 13, 2002
        By Lorena Mongelli, Frankie Edozien and Rita Delfiner

Patrons puffed a sigh of relief yesterday at a West Side cigar bar that will be one of the city's few safe smoking havens when a new ban on tobacco toking kicks in.

"If Bloomberg's proposal stays that way, then I guess I'll be coming here more often," said Victor Vanov, 27, as he smoked a cigar at the 53rd St. Cigar Bar, located in the Sheraton New York.

December 13, 2002
        By Stephanie Gaskell

It looks like the "Big Smoke" won't be snuffed out by Mayor Bloomberg.

The Big Smoke - an event hosted by Cigar Aficionado magazine that draws thousands to New York for premium cigar tasting - could be allowed to continue under a little-noticed exemption in the new anti-smoking legislation.

The bill, expected to be passed soon by the City Council and signed by the mayor, contains a loophole for promoting and sampling tobacco products.

The special exemption was not made public by Bloomberg and City Council members who announced a deal on the anti-smoking bill on Wednesday.

But under the bill, anyone can apply to the city Health Department for permission to allow smoking at its convention.

December 14, 2002
        By Stephanie Gaskell

Embattled bar and restaurant owners testified at City Hall yesterday in a last-ditch effort to stop the city from banning smoking in virtually all public places.

"I want to let them know that we're here and we're not going away," said Ciaran Staunton, owner of O'Neill's pub.

Staunton told the City Council Health Committee that Mayor Bloomberg's anti-smoking bill - which prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants, would pulverize his business.

"I'm going to have to lay off three of my 12 employees," he said. "I expect to lose about 20 percent of my business."

The hearing came just two days after Bloomberg and the City Council agreed to a compromise law that excludes cigar bars and owner-operated establishments where there are no employees.

The mayor is expected to sign the bill next week. It will become law 90 days later.

December 15, 2002
        By Linda Stasi

It was like watching Nero fiddle while Rome burned ... or in this case smoked. I'm talking about how the greenhorns in the City Council agreed to roll over on the smoking ban faster than a bad SUV on a slick street.

Yes, there we were on the verge of a transit strike in a city sinking under its enormous debt (and crumbling infrastructure), with the homeless again taking up more park benches than the pigeons, and all the mayor seemed worried about was banning smoking. Get this man a laurel wreath.

The rules are positively nutty. For example, you'll still be allowed to smoke in bars if the owner is the only one working there. Just don't try to get a drink - you might end up waiting until they reinstate prohibition.

And you'll still be allowed to light up if a restaurant/bar owner builds a small, separate smoking room which employees can't enter to serve you. Nobody knows where employees will go if they want a smoke, however.

In all fairness, rooms like these do exist in other buildings with bars, but until now, you needed to kill a guard or stab Big Larry in cellblock D to actually be put in one.

Why Philip Morris, whose employees are no longer permitted to light up in their own building, doesn't get out of Dodge and take their headquarters and the millions they contribute to this city with them is the real question.

I would. And I don't even smoke.

December 16, 2002
        Arnold Ahlert

Is the idea of having enough doctors to care for city residents about to go up in smoke?

According to the city Health Department's November newsletter, doctors "could face malpractice suits if they don't push patients to kick the smoking habit." So we've already come to threatening doctors if they don't do their part to support Mayor Bloomberg's crusade against smoking.

As Mayor Mike and his Pleasure Police go about the process of micro-managing the lives of every New Yorker, where are the people who scream bloody murder about the "assault on our freedoms" by the federal government in its fight against terrorism?

It is galling to think there are people taking home a taxpayer-provided salary to dream up "brilliant" ideas such as this. It is even more galling to watch a city government drowning in red ink come up with more and more ways to expand both its reach and influence - while hiding behind the despicable excuse that they're "doing it for our own good."

Doctors who already pay six-figure malpractice premiums just might decide it's no longer worth practicing medicine in a city that would dictate what they must say to their patients - or else.

December 17, 2002
        Bad for biz
        Page Six

MAYOR Bloomberg's harsh anti-smoking law - already rubber-stamped by the City Council - could result in the loss of many national conventions, starting with the Republican Convention in 2004. James G. Tom, of NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, has written all 51 lawmakers warning he'll call for a Republican boycott. The group fumes that the GOP is supposed to be the party of personal freedoms, lower taxes and less government: "The smoking ban goes against everything the Republicans are supposed to stand for," Tom said. "Why would convention delegates who happen to smoke want to come to New York?" Good question.

December 17, 2002
        By Toni Jones

I REMEMBER snickering at Mayor Bloomberg's plans to ban smoking from the city back in June. As a Brit spending the summer in Manhattan, I found it almost sweet how he was trying to make his mark in office with such off-the-wall rules.
Sweet and laughable. There was no way the city that was made for breaking rules would stand for such ridiculous regulation. I returned to London certain that the new mayor would fail in his quest to turn New York into one of those dull, sanitized West Coast-type cities.

So it was with surprise - and sadness - that I read that most elements of the proposal will be enforced by spring.

Apart from negating possibly the most successful pickup line for a generation of tongue-tied New Yorkers ("Do you have a light?"), the ban threatens to take all the fun out of the city.

Despite being European, I don't smoke (don't panic: I do drink like a trooper), but it is painfully obvious to me how damaging this will be to a place that is all about attitude. The appeal of New York has always been that undefinable element of cool - the buzz that comes from being a hotbed of creative talent and the ultimate cultural melting pot.

December 19, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

By an overwhelming 42-7 vote, the City Council yesterday handed Mayor Bloomberg the tough anti-smoking bill he wanted after months of intense negotiations and public outcry.

Council members proclaimed the bill a victory for New Yorkers who work in bars and other places where smoking will soon be banned.

The measure, which Bloomberg is expected to sign into law soon, doubles the fines imposed on establishment owners for someone smoking in prohibited areas to $200 for the first offense and up to $2,000 for repeat offenders. The law could take effect as early as April.

December 19, 2002
        By Steve Dunleavy

I MUST confess that at City Hall yesterday, I sandbagged an anti-smoking advocate, a decent lady named Joanne Koldare.

Ms. Koldare was there when the City Council decreed that from now on, New Yorkers may not smoke almost everywhere they enjoy smoking.

Like in bars.

Where not only smokers will suffer, but people like tavern owners, bartenders and waiters.

Not to mention, the city - which is going to be in a lot worse shape financially. That's because empty bars don't create a whole lot of taxable income.

 "I'm concerned about the welfare of others," said Koldare.

Clearly, those "others" do not include people who work in bars and restaurants - or their families.

Taking freedom out of the hands of freedom-loving people may not be against the letter of the law. But certainly it's against the spirit of everything we stand for in America.

Count me out, Mike.

Do you know, it's quite legal to smoke in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Think about it.

December 20, 2002
        By Paul Tharp

Despite the ban on smoking in bars, new loopholes are emerging that may let customers light up all they want in clubs and night spots.

Even small neighborhood pubs could be able to tell the Bloomberg butt police to bug off under the legal dodges.

Promotion experts say it'll still be legal to smoke at private, invitation-only events where the public isn't invited. "The key to this are the words - open to the public,' " said Joe Mastrocovi, managing partner of national night club promotion firm, Moderene
Promotions, Inc.

"The large night clubs and dance clubs will probably turn over most of their nights to be controlled by independent promoters, who create the venue into a private event by invitation only."

"They would be specific events requiring invitations to get in," he said.

"When the general public isn't permitted inside, it gives a lot of wriggle room to set your own rules for the events," he said. "Like allowing guests to smoke."

Restaurants may have a more tricky route to transform themselves into invitation-only operations. "It depends on the kind of restaurant. In one where its kitchen closes after the dinner crowd leaves at 10 or 11 and the place becomes a night club, the place can cater just to private, invitation-only events."

In the small neighborhood bars, owners could close their places each night to the general public, and hang up signs saying "Private Party" or "Closed for Fund Raiser. Invitation Only."

"You can get fraternal organizations that want to sponsor fund- raiser nights at neighborhood bars. You could take a place for all kinds of events - from aiding Alzheimer research to the Emerald Society, the Police Department, firemen.

"You could snowball these events into helping a lot of groups and a lot of good causes," said Mastrocovi.

One industry lawyer familiar with the new anti-smoking law said it has exemptions that could allow widespread smoking, but declined to discuss them on the record.

"The test will be whether you can prove it's an invitation-only event," the person said.

Mastrocovi expects that some restaurant operators will be creative in trying to beat the smoking ban in their premises, and will likely face an enforcement bust for allowing invitation-only smokers.

"I'm not a lawyer, but I think it would be a pretty good case to challenge the constitutionality of the Bloomberg law."

The small eateries and pubs that do nothing to find ways around the ban will probably take a big loss in customer traffic.

"The neighborhood bars, those guys of the old ways, will take the biggest hit. The people who frequent them want to go in there and park, and sit and talk."

The law could actually help boost local marketing business, by creating thousands of new events that didn't exist before for promoters to sell goods and services.

"It's going to create a lot of business for creative marketing people," said publicist David Granoff, an avowed non-smoker.

"Whenever any law changes, it creates new business opportunities for somebody, somewhere."

Some nightlife observers think that familiar local watering holes will gain status by becoming invitation-only hangouts.

Granoff and other marketers see a proliferation of newsletters and websites that track smoker-events around town. "There'll be buzz words, like have a smokin' time,' " said Granoff.

Butt out!

The city's smoking ban is anything but a drag for promoters, who plan to exploit loopholes. Here are details:

* Night spots could hold "private parties," with entrance granted on request.

* Membership cards could be issued for entrance, also with no sweat. * Revenue of little neighborhood bars not skilled in marketing could go up in smoke.

December 21, 2002
        By David Seifman

In a surprise move at the 11th hour, Mayor Bloomberg secured an exemption in his tough anti-smoking bill to accommodate a cigar fest sponsored by a pal of Rudy Giuliani’s, The Post has learned.

Bloomberg’s loophole was crafted specifically for Cigar Aficionado magazine - the sponsor of the twice-a-year Big Smoke cigar bash run by Marvin Shanken, a friend of Giuliani. The former mayor is a stogie fan himself and once appeared on a Cigar Aficionado cover.

Sources said Giuliani advised Shanken to lobby the Bloomberg administration for an exemption to the legislation banning smoking in most bars, restaurants, nightclubs and many other public places.

Giuliani had "half jokingly" told Bloomberg he’d be on the protest lines if the city outlawed cigar-smoking venues, a source said.

Bloomberg’s request to modify his own bill came as a shock to insiders.

"It was bizarre," said one source. "They [mayoral aides] came in at the last minute and said this was personally important to the mayor."

The legislation was approved by the City Council and is expected to be signed soon by Bloomberg.

The Big Smoke attracts a well-heeled crowd eager to sample premium cigars and fine liquors.

The new law will allow smokers to gather at any facility for up to five days a year "where the public is invited for the primary purpose of promoting and sampling tobacco products."

One source said the amendment was tailored for the Big Smoke.

An administration official said that was done for economic-development reasons, meaning the city didn’t want to lose so many out-of-town smokers with bulging wallets.

"This group’s been loyal to New York, and if they can live with the new restrictions, they are welcome here," said Bloomberg press secretary Ed Skyler.

December 23, 2002
        By Marsha Kranes

Mayor Bloomberg's smoking ban is expected to get hordes of city nicotine addicts to try quitting - but the good intentions of most will very likely end up in ashes.

December 31, 2002
        By Frankie Edozien

Mayor Bloomberg signed his tough anti-smoking bill into law yesterday amid great fanfare, hailing it as the most significant action he'll ever take at City Hall.

"I don't think there's anything that any of us that have been elected to serve the people of New York will do in our entire lives that will have the kind of impact that this legislation will have," the mayor said.

"We literally will save tens of thousands of lives," he added in the ceremonial Blue Room overcrowded with anti-smoking advocates.

The law, which takes effect at the end of March, will ban smoking inside about 14,000 bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other public facilities.

Despite the furor surrounding the bill, not a single opponent signed up to speak.

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note - Opponents were not notified by the administration that this ceremony was taking place.  We only found out at 5AM that morning from a TV news report that it would be taking place sometime "later" that day.  What time?  Scott LoBaido was notified of the small amount of information we had and, not knowing the ceremony time, spent 5 hours outside protesting on all our behalfs.

Anyway, what more could be said to these clansmen who hold a ceremony to pat themselves on the back for being successful at burning down a church?

This ceremony, like the entire process was corrupt -- disenfranchising the opposition at every opportunity.

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January 13, 2002
        Hospital Pay Raises Backed
        Plan tied to cig tax hike nears Albany vote
        By Joe Mahoney, Daily News Albany Bureau Chief

        ALBANY - Gov. Pataki's plan to raise hospital workers' pay has gathered
        momentum at the Capitol.

        Political insiders said the health-care plan — to be funded largely
        by a payout of up to $1 billion from Empire Blue Cross and Blue
        Shield for allowing it to convert to a for-profit company and by
        hiking the state cigarette tax 35%, to $1.50 a pack — could be
        voted on as soon as Tuesday by both the state Senate and the

January 16, 2002
        Senate OKs Med Pay Boost
       Includes $1.50 cig tax
        By Joe Mahoney

        ALBANY - The state Senate voted early today to approve a
        multibillion-dollar plan that would increase salaries for health
        care workers, and the Assembly was expected to follow suit.

        The bill, championed by Gov. Pataki and hospital union leader
        Dennis Rivera, also raises the state tax on cigarettes to $1.50 a
        pack from $1.11.

February 14, 2002
        Cig Pack Is $7 Under Bloomy Budget
        By Joanne Wasserman

        Mayor Bloomberg proposed raising the city's cigarette tax to
        $1.50 a pack from 8 cents yesterday, saying he was trying to get
        smokers to quit.

        "This is not a revenue-enhancing thing — although I'd like to have
         the revenue," the mayor said. "This is something for the future of
         our children, and I think it would be very easy to put together a
         panel of reputable public health officials which would show that we
         should do this."

         The mayor said he didn't believe programs aimed at helping
         smokers quit worked as well as "just raising taxes. ... You raise it,
         consumption goes down."

February 14, 2002
        Mike Hikes Cig Tax, Cut Cops
        By Michael Saul

        Fewer cops. More expensive parking tickets. A dramatically
        higher tax on cigarettes. The elimination of seven seniors
        centers. No metal, glass or plastic recycling.

        "You raise cigarette taxes, the kids smoke less," he said.
        "Wouldn't it be wonderful if people stopped smoking?"

February 16, 2002
         NYPD Urged Not to Cop a Smoke

         Police Detective Richard Tamayo found an unexpected
         supporter yesterday for his complaints about cops smoking
         inside police stations.

         As Mayor Bloomberg left City Hall for a dental appointment, he
         spotted Tamayo holding a news conference on the steps, saying
         no-smoking rules were widely ignored.

         "I think that smoking kills people," Bloomberg said after stopping
         to chat with the group. "I think anybody that smokes is crazy."

February 24, 2002
        Mike's Cig Tax Will Backfire
        by Jerry Della Femina

        I think Bloomberg's tax will be the straw that broke the Camel
        smoker's back.

        Take my word, this cigarette tax is going to backfire and Mayor
        Bloomberg's political career will go up in smoke. Bloomberg got
        719,000 votes to become mayor. It is estimated that there are 2.4
        million smokers in the city and nearly all of them are of voting age.
        If they get mad enough at Bloomberg they can run Son of Sam
        against him and get him elected in a landslide.

March 6, 2002
        Commish Is Kicking Butts
        New push to help smokers quit
        By Lisa L. Colangelo

       Attention New York City smokers:

      Dr. Thomas Frieden, the city's new health commissioner, knows
      you really want to quit. But you keep getting pulled back in.

      Frieden, 41, made a name for himself in the
      mid-1990s when he led the city's successful
      battle against a tuberculosis epidemic

     He's back in New York and ready to bring that passion and focus
     to another public health enemy — tobacco.

March 21, 2002
        Cig Tax a Healthy Measure All Around
        By Albor Ruiz

       Smoking will kill you, and that is a fact. Not even
       the big tobacco companies can dispute it.

       That being the case, supporting Mayor Bloomberg's proposed
       new huge cigarette tax should be a no-brainer. After all,
       tobacco-related products kill 12,000 New Yorkers every year, so
       any measure that contributes to saving some of those lives makes a
       lot of sense.

       "People should have the right to make bad decisions," Lipsky said.

       And, presumably, good ones, too. Like quitting smoking.

       Whatever sympathy the small merchants' plight may elicit, if the
       cigarette tax helps some New Yorkers stay healthy, it should be

       Listen to this fascist closely.  He's actually trying to have you believe that the tax increase, intended to force
       behavior change, is a voluntary decision.

April 1, 2002
        Small Biz Fights $1.50 City Cig Tax

        Proprietors of small shops, bodegas and beverage stores in
        the city will mount a petition drive against Mayor
        Bloomberg's plan to boost the cigarette tax to $1.50 from 8

April 11, 2002
         Free Smokes Signal An Attack on Cig Tax

         No ifs, ands or butts: If you're a smoker and want a free pack
         of cigarettes, show up at next week's meeting of the
         Libertarian Party of Manhattan.

         "I don't think we're getting desperate," said party spokesman Jim
         Lesczynski. "But someone needs to make the political point ... that
         a tax on cigarettes disproportionately affects the poor, that it's a
         regressive tax."

April 12, 2002
         Butt Out, Markowitz Tells Boro
         Greg Wilson

         First, he wanted you to lose weight — and now, Brooklyn
         Borough President Marty Markowitz wants you to quit

         This week, the gregarious borough president launched a Butt Out
         Brooklyn campaign aimed at getting smokers to kick the habit.

        At least one borough smoker thinks Markowitz should stick to
         traditional government services and leave smokers alone.

         Audrey Silk, a police officer in the 67th Precinct, is the founder of
         Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment.

          "It's government intrusion," said Silk, 37, of southern Brooklyn.
          "It's none of the government's business.

April 23, 2002
         Tougher Smoking Law Eyed
         By Frank Lombardi

         A bid to increase smoking restrictions in restaurants will be
         launched tomorrow in the City Council by Republican
         Councilman James Oddo of Staten Island.

         In 1995, city officials won a hard-fought battle to impose a
         smoking ban on all restaurants with more than 35 seats. Oddo is
         now introducing a bill that would extend that ban to all restaurants,
         no matter what size.

April 24, 2002
         Mike's Cig Tax Would Burn Bodegas
         By Sung Soo Kim
         Kim is president of the Korean-American
           Small Business Service Center of New York

        Mayor Bloomberg has argued frequently and persuasively that
        tax increases are bad for the city, that they hurt the business
        climate and encourage companies to find friendlier places to

        At the same time, with no apparent trace of irony, he has called for
        a confiscatory rise in the city's cigarette tax — an increase to a
        whopping $1.50 a pack from the current 8 cents.

         The mayor was right the first time. This tax hike would have a
         devastating effect on small stores, groceries and bodegas
         throughout the city as customers turn elsewhere for their cigarettes.
         The impact would ripple through neighborhood economies already
         reeling in the recessionary aftermath of 9/11.

July 1, 2002
        Mayor Hikes Cigs Up to $7
        By Lisa L. Colangelo

        The price of a pack is now about $7, making New York one
        of the most — if not the most — expensive places in the
        country to buy cigarettes.

July 1, 2002
        Teens Hired to Fight Illegal Smokes Sales
        By Owen Moritz

        Thirty-five teenagers are going undercover in the city's war
        on illegal cigarette sales.

        One part calls for the teens, accompanied by undercover
        inspectors, to go into stores and test whether retailers will sell to

        The other part is more challenging: tapping into the Web sites of
        more than 200 companies that sell smokes at sharp discounts on
        the Internet — and don't seem to care if they sell to minors.

July 2, 2002
         Smokers Fume at New Tax
         Vendors also wail as increase
         boosts cost of pack to $7+
         By Owen Moritz

        An almost 1,900% rise in cigarette taxes lit a fire under
        smokers and tobacco dealers in the city and had them
        talking yesterday as if the end of the world was near.

        The city tax on a pack of cigarettes soared to
         $1.50 from 8 cents, pushing the retail price to
         around $7 a pack from about $5.50 and
         enraging smokers.

         "If any other product had a price hike like that,
         they'd be up in arms," said Kimberly Basilou,
         46, of Bay Shore, L.I.

          Told that the whopping tax hike was partly
          intended to get smokers to stop, she shot
          back: "I don't need the government to tell me
          what my father couldn't tell me 20 years ago."

August 6, 2002
        City revenues up, smoking down
        By Joanne Wasserman and David Saltonstall

        New Yorkers bought half as many cigarettes citywide last month as they did
        in July 2001, while - thanks to the whopping new tax - the city raked five
        times more cash during the same period.

        Of course, it's impossible to tell if the drop in purchases means people are
        actually quitting. Since the tax went into effect, many Web sites have
        sprouted up offering illegal out-of-state smokes for as little as $4 a pack.

August 9, 2002
        Mike: Butts Out!
        Seeks total restaurant, bar smoking ban
        By David Saltonstall

        Mayor Bloomberg is set to propose legislation next week
        that would ban smoking in city bars and restaurants, the Daily News has
        learned. "This would be no exceptions," said one source with knowledge of the

August 9, 2002
        City's cig fans huff and puff
         By Jose Martinez

         Butt out, Mr. Mayor.

         That was the message for Mayor Bloomberg yesterday from smokers who
         were blazing mad after hearing his plans to ban lighting up in bars and

         "We have to ask ourselves, 'How far does it go?'" griped William Flowers,
         somewhere inside a cloud of smoke at the Blarney Stone pub on W. 31st St.
         "Do we next need to ask permission to have sex in our own homes?"

August 10, 2002
        Mike Wants Cig Ban In Offices, Too
        By David Saltonstall

        Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to ban smoking in the workplace extends
        well beyond bars and restaurants -- it covers all commercial offices in the
        city, the Daily News has learned.

        Bloomberg's decision to add offices to his smokeout is sure to add a new
        dimension to the debate, which was generating plenty of heat yesterday
        among restaurant and bar owners.

        "I will say this about my members," Scott Wexler, head of the Empire
        State Restaurant and Tavern Association, a group representing some
        1000 city bars.  "They are ready for the fight.  They're saying, 'Bring it

August 10, 2002

         Mayor Bloomberg and his health commissioner want a total ban on
         smoking in the workplace -- even if the workplace is someone else's
         playplace.  The motive -- protecting lungs -- is pure and laudable.
         The question is how to do it sensibly, fairly.

         As for the prohibition on smoking in all private offices, the argument
          is:  Smoke escapes from even a closed room through air vents and
         still presents a palpable danger after it wends it way through a
         building's innards.  But is that science or belief?  Where are the stats?

         And what about people like doormen and porters who work in
         apartment buildings?  What about housekeepers and nannies and
         home health aides?  They, too, are exposed to secondhand smoke --
         so shouldn't the ban be extended to private residences?  The city
         wouldn't dare propose that.

          Or would it?

         How far would, or should, government go?

August 13, 2002
        Mayor pushes pols to OK workplace bill
        Frank Lombardi and Lisa L. Colangelo

         Mayor Bloomberg officially unveiled his controversial no-smoking-
        in-the-workplace bill yesterday -- and quickly started lighting a fire
        under city lawmakers to get it passed fast.

August 13, 2002
          by E.R. Shipp

       Call me cranky.  Call me kooky.  Call me contrarian.  But more than anything,
       call me a New Yorker.  The kind who existed before Sept. 11, 2001.

      And it is that -- being a New Yorker of the old school -- that makes me
      cringe at Mayor Bloomberg's attempt to impose upon us his personal
      opposition to the smoking of cigarettes.

August 16, 2002
         Lisa L. Colangelo

        City Council Speaker Gifford Miller made no promises yesterday to
        speed Mayor Bloomberg's strict smoking ban through the Council.

August 18, 2002
         Smoking over Mike's ban plan
     Denis Hamill

         Bloomberg's proposal to ban smoking in bars is nuts.

         The mayor also is a hypocrite. One of his favorite haunts is Uncle Jack's
         Steak House on Bell Blvd. in Bayside. Six years ago, when owner Willie Degel
         opened the place, he described Uncle Jack's as an under-35-seating-capacity,
         "smoke-friendly" steakhouse with a great drinking bar.

         Although Uncle Jack's has a smoke-free room downstairs, Bloomberg always
         sits upstairs in the smoking room, where he devours his New York strip

September 17, 2002
        Tax Hike Puts Store Profits Up In Smoke
        Ruth Bashinsky

It's not even three months since the city jacked its cigarette tax up to $1.50 a pack, but many retail stores along the Nassau border are feeling a big pinch.

Instead of buying their butts in eastern Queens, smokers are slipping into nearby Nassau County, where cigarettes cost $4.50 to $5.50 a pack -- substantially less than in the city.

"When people ask for a pack and I say $7.35, they say 'never mind' and walk out," said Charles Chen, owner of Douglaston Minute Market and Gifts.  "It's been terrible.  We've lost about 75% of our customers, and I'm barely making the $2,500 monthly rent payments."

September 19, 2002
        Firms stoked to fight smoke ban
        The smoking wars are catching fire.
        By Frank Lombardi and David Saltonstall

Tobacco giant Philip Morris said it is preparing to unleash its considerable bankroll on stopping Mayor Bloomberg's proposed bill to snuff out smoking in city bars, restaurants and office buildings.

"We are anticipating that we will provide financial support to those who share our views," Philip Morris spokesman Brendan McCormick said this week.

September 23, 2002
       $200M lost to smokes smugglers
        Yearly city, state tax shortfall from gang & Internet sales
        William Sherman

Freelance smugglers, organized crime and Internet sources are flooding New York's neighborhoods with cheap cigarettes that would bring the city and state upward of $200 million a year in taxes on the legitimate market.

The boom in underground cigarettes was touched off by the July 2 increase in city taxes to $1.50 per pack from 8 cents apack and a bump in state taxes to the same $1.50 per pack from $1.11, according to government officials and tobacco wholesalers.

Nearly all the 47 New York State Internet sales sites are run by Native Americans whose operations are not taxed under federal law, and who pass those savings on to consumers. Premium brands are available at $28 to $33 a carton.

In theory, the buyer is supposed to pay city and state sales taxes on purchases of more than two cartons.

"But nobody is enforcing that; it's impossible to enforce, although we'd like to," Stark said.

A law banning untaxed Internet cigarette sales in New York was declared unconstitutional after a challenge by Brown & Williamson Tobacco and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., a Native American brand. A Manhattan federal judge ruled that only the federal government has the right to regulate interstate commerce.

September 24, 2002
       Smoke ban goes private
        Clubs group for war with mayor

        Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to ban smoking in city bars and restaurants will also include private clubs - those
        smoke-filled bastions that Bloomberg once suggested would not be covered under his toughest-in-the-nation ban.

        But the clubs - from yuppie-filled, Ivy League hideaways on Manhattan's upper East Side to scores of American Legion
        posts that dot Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx - are entering the debate late.

        The decision will likely draw awhole new set of players to the debate, among them some of the city's wealthiest
        powerbrokers - many of whom consider after-dinner cigars a God-given right - and veterans who find comfort in local
        fraternal halls.

        They will likely be people like Nino Fulgoni, 66, who was enjoying his usual cigar at the Our Lady of Fatima Catholic
        War Veterans post in East Elmhurst, Queens, when told of the mayor's proposed ban.

        "We have veterans here who made it onto Omaha Beach on D-Day," Fulgoni said. "You going to tell them that they can't

        "They earned their stripes," added Fulgoni, whose post has about 80 members, roughly half of them smokers. "If they
        want to smoke - let 'em smoke."

September 25, 2002
        Tax hike on smokes is burning bodegas
        By Jose Fernandez
        Fernandez is president of the Bodega Owners Association.

        Nearly three months have passed since the city and state collaborated to pass the largest single tax increase in New York
        City's history, raising the tax on cigarettes to $1.50 a pack from 8 cents.

       When this hike of almost 1,900% was proposed, grocery store owners warned that it would have a devastating impact on
        neighborhood stores that depend on cigarette sales for up to 25% of their gross revenues. We also predicted a flood of
        bootlegging and a dramatic seepage of sales to nearby states with lower taxes. As a Daily News investigative report
        Monday vividly highlighted, the impact may be even worse than predicted.

        Neighborhood grocery stores have suffered a decline of close to 50% in cigarette revenue. In low-income areas where
        our bodegas have historically flourished, there is blatant hawking of illegal smokes - often right in front of our stores. Sales
        to minors, which were declining as a result of vigorous law enforcement, have started to increase as the hawkers sell to
        anyone with ready cash, no questions asked.

October 1, 2002
        Mike smoking out Council
        By Frank Lombardi

        In a show of his commitment and muscle, Mayor Bloomberg will be his own leadoff witness when the City Council begins
        hearings on his tough anti-smoking bill Oct. 10.

October 2, 2002
        Mike's anti-smoking push ads up to 1.1M
        By David Saltonstall

Mayor Bloomberg's Health Department has burned through $1.1 million on ads outlining the ill effects of secondhand smoke as he pushes a bill to ban smoking in city bars and restaurants.

Asked about the ad campaign yesterday, Bloomberg said, "If you mean saving people's lives, that is the Health Department's purpose. That's why they're there."

Not everyone agrees.

"It's an outrage," said Brian Rohan of the United Restaurant & Liquor Dealers Association. "Our small businesses are the ones that are paying the taxes in this city, and now Mayor Bloomberg is using those taxes against us."

October 3, 2002
        On mayor's ban wagon
        Other cities target cigarettes
        By David Saltonstall

Mayor Richard Daley is doing it in Chicago. So is Mayor Thomas Menino in Boston, as well as political leaders in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties.

All have followed Mayor Bloomberg's lead and are contemplating a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, making New York a key battleground that could signal smoking policy changes across the country.

"All eyes are on New York right now - both among advocates and the tobacco industry," said Elena Deutsch, director of tobacco control for the American Cancer Society. "I think there will definitely be a ripple effect."

October 3, 2002
        Miller vowed to curb smokers in '01 quiz
        By Michael Saul

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller - who has coyly refused to back Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to ban smoking in all city restaurants in bars - made a written pledge to support similar legislation last year, the Daily News has learned.

During his re-election campaign, Miller signed a questionnaire promising to support legislation for smoke-free restaurants, bars,
nightclubs, bowling alleys, bingo parlors and pool halls.

"The questionnaire is not the bill," said Chris Policano, Miller's spokesman. "The speaker has not yet come to a position on that bill ... He is respecting the legislative process."

October 9, 2002
        Mike's blowing 2nd-hand smoke
        By Sidney Zion

If secondhand smoke really were the killer Mike Bloomberg insists it is, he wouldn't be mayor of New York now - he'd be pushing up daisies on the outskirts of Beantown, his hometown.

Not only did he catch other people's butts during his 60 years in this vale of tearing eyes, he was a cigarette junkie for half his life. Unlike Bill Clinton, Mike inhaled - not cigars, not pot, but real cigs.

And late last year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration decided to drop plans for setting up federal rules for indoor smoking. OSHA said it was because there is no substantial evidence that secondhand smoke is harmful.

Big stuff, but I'll bet you didn't know about it, given the way the anti-smoking crowd has done the public relations job of the century to convince us all that we will die if the smokers are allowed to live.

October 9, 2002
        Stooge's Son Butting In
        By David Saltonstall

The anti-smoking crusaders have a new stooge on their side.

The son of "The Three Stooges" ringleader Moe Howard has joined Mayor Bloomberg's fight to ban smoking in pubs and clubs, and will be one of several sideshows at tomorrow's City Countil hearing -- a three-ring circus in the making.

October 10, 2002
        'The Insider' joins Mike's fight
         By David Saltonstall

In his bid to ban smoking in all city bars, restaurants and workplaces, Mayor Bloomberg picked up the support of the most vaunted insider of them all.

Bloomberg met Dr. Jeffrey Wigand over a smoke-free lunch yesterday at Union Square Cafe, talking tobacco with the man whose revelations about the dangers of smoking led to the 1999 movie "The Insider."

October 10, 2002
        Secondhand smoke:
        Who do you believe?
        By Greg Gittrich

Secondhand smoke is deadly. Or is it?

The cornerstone of Mayor Bloomberg's campaign to ban smoking in city bars and restaurants has been much debated in the scientific community over the last two decades.

Many experts believe that any exposure to secondhand smoke poses a serious health risk.

But others say the danger is overrated, arguing that junk science and politics have led secondhand smoke to be tagged as a carcinogen – a cancer-causing agent.

"There is no factual evidence," said Dr. Gio Gori, former director of the National Cancer Institute's smoking and health program. "If there is a risk, it is so small that present methods can't even measure it."

October 11, 2002
        Mike: No ifs or butts
        Starts smoke ban fight with pitch to Council
        by David Saltonstall

The supporters arrived with placards shouting "I Don't Want Your Cancer."  Nearby, beefy bar owners wore T-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Hey Mike, Butt Out."

Twenty-two Council members have endorsed the bill, four shy of the majority needed.  But City Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan), who has yet to take a stand, said it was too early to determine the outcome.  At least one other hearing is planned.

Bloomberg has asked that the bill be approved by Nov. 21, which is Great American Smoke-Out Day.

Miller said he wasn't "going to set a date or a deadline" because it would be "inappropriate."

October 20, 2002
        Fantasies of better city make escapism a breeze
        By Mike Barnicle

        I'm looking for something, anything at all, that might put a smile on my face, and Mayor Bloomberg, steps in.

        He's a great guy, a smart guy, too, and has the kind of self-confidence money can't buy. Unlike a lot of people, I happen
        to think he's on to something as he tries to make all New Y ork City a no-smoking zone. What provides the amusement is
        wishing he wouldn't restrict his pursuit of improving the life around us by concentrating on just the dreaded cigarette. Why
        stop there?

        After all, think of the possibilities for Bloomberg to step up to the plate and help create a better New York.

        For example: How about the electric chair for anyone caught talking at the movies? Is there anything more annoying than
        these dopes who carry on loud conversations while you're trying to hear what the actors are saying in "My Big Fat Greek

        Making sure Morley Safer can't light up at Elaine's is a layup compared with the really tough tasks that have to be tackled.
        Like, how and what people eat.

        Take a peek at the customers who stumble out of McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and the thousands of pizza joints
        throughout the boroughs. Their arteries are more clogged than the Lincoln Tunnel at 5 p.m. on a rainy day.

        Are you telling me secondhand smoke represents a more serious threat to public health than a bacon cheeseburger that
        appears to have been cooked at Jiffy Lube? Or that a pack of Marlboros is more dangerous than Count Chocula?

        It's the diet, stupid.

        It's time Bloomberg started to act like he was the mayor of Panmunjom and simply order people to behave better, or else.

        Sure, he'd run the risk of being called Bloomberg the busybody, but so what?

October 23, 2002
        Mayor to bodegas: Stop blowing smoke over tax
        By Lisa L. Colangelo

Mayor Bloomberg infuriated bodega owners yesterday by dismissing complaints that his cigarette tax is killing their businesses.

"I just find it inconceivable that you could equate people's lives - particularly children that buy cigarettes in bodegas - with a minor economic issue," he said yesterday. "Let's get serious!"

Jose Fernandez of the Bodega Owners Association called the mayor an "enemy of minority-owned businesses" and "a traitor."

Meanwhile, Bloomberg's war against tobacco took another turn when City Council Minority Leader James Oddo tried to cut in with his own smoking bill.

Oddo (R-S.I.) asked Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) to go ahead with a measure to ban smoking in restaurants that seat fewer than 35.

Oddo, who supports Bloomberg's broader ban, said that bill may not pass the Council.

October 30, 2002
        Deal in works on smoke, wage bills
        By Lisa L. Colangelo

Mayor Bloomberg's tough anti-smoking bill and the City Council's living-wage proposal don't appear to have much in common.

But they may end up linked as deal bait.

Sources said Bloomberg may agree to sign an altered version of the wage bill if the Council approves his controversial smoking ban.

"The two have been talked about in the same conversations," a City Hall insider said.

Another source also confirmed the quid-pro-quo negotiations.

Bloomberg wants smoking barred in all places of work, including taverns, restaurants and private clubs. But some Council members are believed to be pushing for an exemption for cigar bars.

The living-wage bill requires city firms doing business with the city to provide their workers with certain pay and health benefits. The original version sets an hourly wage of $8.10 for workers who get health benefits and $9.60 for those who do not. Administration officials have said the measure is too costly.

Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) met yesterday to talk about the bills, among other issues.

October 31, 2002
        Smoke-ban talks collapse in a huff
        By David Saltonstall and Lisa L. Colangelo

In the smoke-free back rooms of City Hall, the debate over Mayor Bloomberg's proposed cigarette ban is fogging the air.
Negotiations between mayoral aides and City Council staffers broke down last night after another public hearing on the bill was scheduled for tomorrow.

Bloomberg's aides were said to be unwilling to compromise on the legislation, which would ban smoking in all workplaces, including bars. But City Council leaders seemed determined to put their own imprint on the measure.

"It will never pass unless there are changes," one City Council member said yesterday.

Some Council members believe the bill should allow exemptions, such as cigar bars.

 Several restaurant and bar owners suggested that the timing of tomorrow's hearing - Friday afternoon, with only one day's notice - was specifically chosen to be as inconvenient as possible for them.

"Friday is always the biggest day for anyone in the bar business," said John Mulvey, owner of Bridget's Public House on Staten Island.

"Is it a sham?" asked Mulvey. "I am hoping it is not a sham."

November 1, 2002
        Puffing for smoke-ban agreement
        By Lisa L. Colangelo and David Saltonstall

Bar and club-hoppers who want to light up in New York might have a puff of a chance to keep smoking.

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller is pushing the idea of fully enclosed, separately ventilated smoking rooms that employees would be barred from entering, sources said.

The smoking rooms are being pushed as a possible compromise to Mayor Bloomberg's bill that bans smoking in all bars, restaurants and other workplaces.

Negotiations between both sides remain at a standstill. A second hearing on the bill, scheduled for today, was canceled.

November 7, 2002
        Mayor mulls taking ban on tobacco to the people
        By David Saltonstall

Mayor Bloomberg raised the possibility of turning his smoking bill into a ballot question yesterday, offering voters a chance to stamp out smoking in city bars and restaurants themselves.

Bloomberg said his first choice still would be to persuade the City Council to pass his anti-smoking bill, but he added, "If I were to fail, I guess you can consider [a ballot question]."

But Bloomberg's talk of a ballot question - which effectively would pull an end run around the City Council - seemed to win him few friends. Ballot questions in New York must be treated as City Charter revisions, a process traditionally reserved for changes in the shape of city government.

"The purpose of the Charter Revision Commission is to deal with the structure of city government, not to further a mayor's personal legislative agenda," said Council spokesman Chris Policano.

November 9, 2002
        Smoke rings

Mayor Bloomberg, staunchly pursuing his anti-smoking agenda, isn't keen that the City Council is mulling exceptions to his proposed ban on puffing in the city's eating establishments. Now he is talking about taking the question directly to the voters in a referendum. Our advice: Go for it. Let the people decide. That would allow you to focus on matters of greater import.

Not that we don't care about the health of workers in bars and restaurants, though no one is forcing those employees to work in smoker-friendly environments. And thanks to current regulations, there are plenty of smoke-free venues in the food-service sector.

It's just that compromise with the Council may be too risky to the city's health. The Council has linked passage of the anti-smoking bill to mayoral approval of the Living Wage Bill. Such an absurd apples-and-oranges deal would erode the city's already fragile fiscal health by driving up the cost of city contracts. The fact that it even was raised says much about the smoking bill's chances.

In suggesting a New York City ballot question, Bloomberg points to the Florida referendum that outlawed smoking in most workplaces. The Florida referendum makes exceptions. For bars, for instance. A big difference from Bloomberg's all-or-nothing plan.

If Bloomberg does put this smoldering issue to the voters, he will have to fashion the question with care and hope for the best. Whatever the result, it should serve the city better than political compromises that end up giving with one hand and taking with the other.

November 12, 2002
        Tobacco group files lawsuit to snuff levies
        By William Sherman

Branding the recent cigarette tax hikes an unconstitutional sham that is failing to produce promised additional revenues, tobacco wholesalers will file a lawsuit today to eliminate the increase.

The suit, to be filed in Manhattan Supreme Court by the state Association of Tobacco and Candy Wholesalers, said the state and city will lose more than $200 million in taxes this fiscal year. The reason, court papers say, is that smokers are buying on the black market or on the Internet to evade the increases.

"The increases are unconstitutional because it's an attempt by Mayor Bloomberg to selectively rule an industry for a social agenda, to eliminate smoking," said attorney Ronald Warfield, representing the tobacco group.

The suit also charges that the increase "purposefully and unfairly disadvantages all legitimate agents licensed to sell cigarettes" in the city in favor of those outside the city, including Internet dealers.

Spokesmen for Bloomberg and city Controller William Thompson, both named as defendants in the suit, could not be reached for comment yesterday, a national holiday.

November 13, 2002
        Smoke bill chances burning up
        By Lisa L. Colangelo

Cocktail waitresses weighed in as the public debate over Mayor Bloomberg's proposed smoking ban raged in City Council chambers again yesterday.

But back-room brainstorming once again failed to broker a compromise that would satisfy both the mayor and wary Council
members, dimming hopes for passage before the end of the year.

During the six-hour hearing, advocates produced experts from Massachusetts and Canada who said similar bans have not ruined the local economy.

But a vocal coalition of bar, restaurant and club owners said New York is different. Small pubs will suffer and sidewalks will be crammed with smokers stepping outside to puff.

"Will this be the end of the small tavern in Queens?" Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens) asked.

"Yes," said Joe Gillespie, owner of P.J. Horgans in Sunnyside.

Councilwoman Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), Health Committee chairwoman, said she expects at least one more public hearing before any vote is taken. And she doubts that will happen before year's end.

"There's so much else on the agenda that has to be dealt with," Quinn said.

November 19, 2002
        Voice of the People

        Second thoughts on smoking

        Brooklyn: I recently went to Uncle Jack's Steakhouse and was very surprised to see the mayor come in for dinner.
        As I was sitting having a cigarette, a woman came in, looked the place over and told the management the mayor
        was ready to come in. She then escorted the mayor and his female companion into the restaurant and to the table
        that was waiting for him.

        Uncle Jack's has a smoking section upstairs and a nonsmoking section downstairs. The mayor's table was
        upstairs, where he and his companion could be seen by all, and they were surrounded by smokers.

        Would someone please ask the mayor, who is so concerned about secondhand smoke, why he would subject
        himself, his companion and his security team to secondhand smoke? Uncle Jack's is an excellent restaurant that
        makes a point of catering to all its patrons, smokers and nonsmokers. I would have to guess that the mayor
        agrees this is a fine restaurant. So why is he trying to hurt its business?

        Jane Gannon

November 24, 2002
        Mike's arrogance endangers city finances
        Denis Hamill

Four more years?

If Mayor Bloomberg wants four more years, he'd better start smoking.

Because the question is: Four more years as mayor of what? At the rate Bloomberg's going, there won't be a city. The city will be a neglected ward of the state, a battered child in the care of evil foster parents called the Financial Control Board.

In his first year in office, Bloomberg has spent most of his time on Bahamas vacations, anti-smoking histrionics and telling us how much more and more and more it's going to cost us to live here.

Problem was, Bloomberg was too busy chasing his hysterical anti-smoking bill to hammer out a proper, smoky back-room political deal.

December 7, 2002
        Smoke signal: Yes to ban
        David Saltonstall

The City Council apparently has decided to smoke the peace pipe with Mayor Bloomberg over his controversial plan to ban cigarette smoking in bars and restaurants.

Insiders said yesterday that a new law prohibiting smoking in virtually every city workplace likely will be passed early next year, after a hearing set for Friday.

Sources said the new bill would largely adhere to Bloomberg's original version, which is bitterly opposed by many bar and restaurant owners.

Some exemptions to the new law are being discussed, however, including amendments to allow smoking in:

Small, private clubs such as VFW posts and Elks lodges - but only if workers are unpaid club members, as is typical in many fraternal halls.

Residential drug treatment centers, so people trying to kick heroin and other major drug habits aren't forced onto the street to smoke cigarettes.

The city's seven cigar bars.

Mayoral spokesman Ed Skyler said, "Negotiations continue."

December 11, 2002
        Butt out! Mike cuts deal with Council on smoking ban
        By The Associated Press

Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council reached agreement Wednesday on a sweeping ban on workplace smoking, which would prohibit lighting up in nearly every bar and restaurant in the city.

The legislation, among the most restrictive in the nation, is expected to be imitated by municipalities across the nation, anti-smoking advocates said.

The bill will likely be passed next week over the vocal opposition of smokers and bar owners. They have complained during public hearings that tightening the city’s existing smoking law would curtail their rights, hurt tourism, and cut into the business of bars and taverns.

For months, the mayor refused to compromise on the bill, and as a result the legislation stalled in the City Council, whose members opposed the original, more comprehensive ban proposed by Bloomberg.

But Bloomberg agreed this week to give in on several provisions: Smoking will still be allowed in some portions of outdoor cafes; in bars and restaurants that build enclosed, specially ventilated smoking rooms where employees would not enter; in private clubs such as American Legion halls; in nursing homes and other residential facilities that have smoking rooms; and in existing cigar bars.

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller said he was happy with the compromise bill.

“No one should have to choose between their health and their job,” Miller said. “The purpose here is not to punish smokers, but to protect employees.”

The City Council has held tw o public hearings on the issues, and will hold two more this week and next. The panel is expected to pass the bill Dec.18.

December 12, 2002
        Mike, Council agree on butts-out bill
        By David Saltonstall and Lisa L. Colangelo

After months of negotiations, Bloomberg and Council Speaker Gifford Miller reached an agreement on the mayor's controversial anti-smoking bill.

Smoking will be allowed only in some parts of outdoor cafes; in bars and restaurants that build enclosed, specially ventilated smoking rooms where employees would not enter; in owner-operated private clubs such as American Legion halls; in nursing homes and other residential facilities that have smoking rooms, and in existing cigar bars.

It will be barred in all other restaurants, bars, poolhalls, bingo parlors, bowling alleys, office buildings -- and virtually every workplace.

The Council also reserved the right to review the specially ventilated smoking lounges -- and possibly ban them outright -- after three years.

December 19, 2002
        Council clears the air
        Nixes saloon smoking, theater cell calls
        By Joanne Wasserman and Lisa L. Colangelo

Picture this: A smoke-free city where cell phones don't bleat in the middle of a movie, garish signs aren't wrapped around every light pole and graffiti isn't scratched onto subway train windows.

The City Council approved seven bills yesterday designed to improve the quality of life for city dwellers. Its centerpiece: the hotly debated smoking ban that targets the city's bars and restaurants.

"Ultimately, this bill is about protecting the health of employees in the city of New York," said City Council Speaker Gifford Miller before it was approved by a vote of 42 to 7. Two members abstained from voting.

The bill outlaws smoking in all workplaces such as restaurants, bars, pool halls, bingo parlors, bowling alleys and office buildings.

Bar and club owners were livid, saying the ban will destroy their livelihood.

"I think it's a disgrace that the members of the New York City Council bowed to a billionaire over the lives of family-run businesses," said Ciaran Staunton, owner of O'Neill's on Third Ave. in Manhattan. "That's some Christmas present they gave my wife and children."

December 19, 2002
        Buttlegger nabbed
        By Greg Wilson

Bootleg butts landed a Sunset Park man in jail.

Wei-Yi Huang, 28, of 12th Ave. was arrested Tuesday night when investigators from the state Department of Taxation and Finance allegedly saw him pedaling his bike along Eighth Ave. and peddling out-of-state cigarettes to stores he passed.

A search of Huang's home turned up more than 700 cartons of cigarettes, officials said. The taboo tobacco is worth more than
$50,000 at full price in New York, where state and city taxes add $3 to the cost of each pack.

Audrey Silk, a smoking activist and founder of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, said it is no surprise that bootlegging is on the rise.

"I don't condone what he did, but we can all thank Mayor Bloomberg for this thriving new business," Silk said, referring to the mayor's effort to raise taxes on cigarette sales.

"Nobody buys their cigarettes from the corner store anymore. They get them from out of state or from the Indian reservations."

December 22, 2002
        Cigar heaven
        At these tobacco bars, say the owners, smoking is an art form

They're indulging in these pleasures at Club Macanudo, a cigar bar on the upper East Side and one of the handful of public places in New York where it will be still legal to smoke, thanks to the smoking ban passed last week by the City Council with Mayor Bloomberg's blessing.

"We just don't get to do this in California," Mike Fryer says, blowing a rich cloud of smoke toward the club's distant ceiling.

"It feels like we're turning into L.A.," says Lisa Castle, 33, of Queens, puffing on a Capri menthol cigarette. "But I think it'll take cosmopolitan, not into perfection like they are in California."

Honorable Mention: De La Concha Tobacconist

Even though the city's new smoking ban exempts shops like De La Concha along with bars that have no employees except the owners, Bowman, a pipe smoker, leaves no doubt what he thinks about the ban.

"The ban helps us," he says. "Even so, it's bad, because we've always prided ourselves in this country for allowing people to create a business that caters to their clientele."

The proprietor, Lionel Melendi, emerges from his office and picks up the thread of Bowman's argument.

"It's totally unconstitutional," says Melendi, 62, a Brooklyn man whose family has been in the cigar business for four generations. "They should give bars and restaurants the choice of whether or not to allow smoking, then let the public choose."

"People will smoke more when the restrictions go into effect," Melendi predicted, countering Mayor Bloomberg's claim that the ban will save 1,000 lives in the city every year.

"Anything you do in life has a certain risk," adds Bowman. "If you smoke a cigar, you're doing no more harm than someone sunbathing."

He shakes his head sadly. "It's a barbaric world in which we live."

December 26, 2002
        No smoking - anywhere

While there has been much publicity about the prohibition of smoking in bars and restaurants, the city has not gone out of its way to promulgate info on the other places where lighting up will be prohibited. And these are legion.

No more smoking in private offices, even with the door closed, no co-workers present and an air purifier complementing the building's ventilation system. No more employee smoking lounges, either. It's out on the street you go if you want a cigarette break. Also, no more smoking in bowling alleys, bingo parlors, pool halls. (Pool halls!) Or in limos for hire, no matter that you are paying munificently for the vehicle or that the driver himself might have a two-pack-a-day habit. The bill even regulates where ashtrays can be placed.

Whether you favor the ban or not, you deserve to be given complete and clear information on the new regulations. A copy of the legislation won't help, unless you're a lawyer and can muddle through such things as: "Subdivisions a, e and g of section 17-508 of th e administrative code of the City of New York, subdivisions a and e as amended by local law number 5 for the year 1995, and subdivision g as added by local law number 2 for the year 1998, are amended, subdivision j of such section is relettered as subdivision k. ..." Got a headache yet?

It's up to City Hall to inform everyone, in the clearest language possible, of exactly what the new law entails. If those details are not provided, there's going to be a great deal of confusion - and even more anger - when the ban goes into effect.

December 31, 2002
        Ashes to ashes as ban becomes law
        By Lisa L. Colangelo

With the stroke of a pen yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg ended the rancorous debate he started four months ago and signed one of the toughest smoking bans in the nation.

The new ordinance prohibits smoking in virtually all bars, restaurants and nightclubs in the city starting March 30.

"You have a right to smoke, you just don't have a right to make somebody else sick and kill them, and that's what secondhand smoking does," Bloomberg said.

Dissenters were invisible at the ceremony.

But outside City Hall, lone protester Scott LoBaido, clad in a Superman costume, held up an anti-Bloomberg sign. An artist from Staten Island, LoBaido said he was dressed as the Man of Steel because "Superman fights evil, and this [the smoking ban] is evil."

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note - "Dissenters" were not notified by the administration that this ceremony was taking place.  We only found out at 5AM that morning from a TV news report that it would be taking place sometime "later" that day.  What time?  Scott LoBaido was notified of the small amount of information we had and, not knowing the ceremony time, spent 5 hours outside protesting on all our behalfs.

This ceremony, like the entire process, was corrupt -- disenfranchising the opposition at every opportunity.

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The Journal News - January 16, 2002
         Putnam smoking ban gains momentum
         By Cara Matthews

        CARMEL — A smoking ban resolution that is identical to Putnam
        County regulations a federal judge quashed last month is on its way to
        the Legislature after unanimous approval from a legislative committee last night.

The Journal News - January 19, 2002
         Putnam, Westchester aim for more smoking curbs
         By Cara Matthews

        Snuffing out people's ability to smoke in public places, including workplaces
        and restaurants, has emerged as one of the top priorities this year in Putnam,
        Westchester and Dutchess counties, with new laws in the works in all three localities.

Bloomberg.com - February 4, 2002
         U.S. Justice Department Earmarks $25 Mln for
         Tobacco Lawsuit
         By William McQuillen

         Washington, Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department is proposing
          to spend $25 million in 2003 on its lawsuit against Philip Morris Cos., R.J.
         Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Corp. and other cigarette makers.

The Associated Press - February 5, 2002
        County Legislature reinstates anti-smoking law

        CARMEL, N.Y. (AP) -- Putnam County's anti-smoking law, which was
        thrown out last year by a federal judge who said it encroached on the
        power of the county Legislature, was reinstated Tuesday night -- by the
        county Legislature.

       The 9-0 vote at the county courthouse prohibits smoking in restaurants,
       bowling alleys and workplaces except in enclosed, ventilated sections;
       and in stores, hospitals, places of worship and other public places. It does
       not cover bars and taverns.

Reuters - February 13, 2002
        NYC's mayor wants to raise cigarette tax
        By Joan Gralla

       New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who ran for
      office on an anti-tax stance, on Thursday proposed raising the 8-cents-a-pack cigarette tax to
      $1.50 as part of a $41.3 billion budget plan he recommended that must close the staggering
      shortfall of $4.8 billion he inherited from his predecessor, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Associated Press - March 1, 2002
        Think tank: City's cigarette tax would snuff state revenues
         Michael Gormley

        An anti-tax group said New York City's proposed cigarette tax could gut revenues the state is counting
        on from its own increase in the cigarette tax that begins in April.

       McMahon said the city tax could wipe out as much as 85 percent of the revenue Pataki is counting on
       to fund raises for health care workers and for health programs.

       "It's not unreasonable to speculate that if New York's combined city and state cigarette tax is allowed to
       reach a whopping $30 per carton of 10 packs, the existing revenue leakage would turn into a veritable
       hemorrhage," McMahon said. "Smokers could save at least $18 a carton by buying their cigarettes in
       any neighboring state or even more by using a tax-free Internet site."

NY Newsday - March 15, 2002
        Comptroller urged to drop tobacco investments
        Michael Gormley - Associated Press Writer

       ALBANY, N.Y. -- Government watchdog and health
       groups called Friday for Comptroller H. Carl McCall to
       drop what the groups called a risky $1 billion public
       pension fund investment in "evil" tobacco companies.

      "What a mistake," said Audrey Silk of the New York City Citizens Lobbying
       Against Smoker Harassment. "It's an industry that is perfectly legal, but they
       punish the stockholders and the civil servants (because) Phillip Morris has done
       well in the last couple of months."

NY Newsday - March 21, 2002
        Anger, Cheers For 50-Ft. Smoke Ban
        Emi Endo

        Indignant smokers yesterday fumed over the approval of
        a bill to shoo them 50 feet away from Suffolk County
        buildings and hospital doors.

        Audrey Silk, who started a group called New York City Citizens Lobbying Against
        Smoker Harassment (which includes Long Island members), said smokers have
        been pushed "first into a separate room, then out the door. Then away from the

Associated Press - March 25, 2002
         Sources: McGreevey's budget increases
       slightly and uses tobacco taxes to cut deficit
         John P. McAlpin

         TRENTON, N.J. -- Gov. James E. McGreevey is
         preparing to introduce a $23.6 billion budget that relies
         on more taxes from corporations and smokers, sources
         familiar with plan told The Associated Press.

         McGreevey first vowed not to raise taxes, but then
         modified his pledge to cover only the gross sales and
         income taxes.

         People who buy cigarettes will help balance
         McGreevey's budget, and so will New Jersey
         corporations as the governor looks to end legal

Columbia School of Journalism - March 26, 2002
        Warning: Smoking is Dangerous to your Pocketbook
         By Beena Ahmad

         In a thinly disguised health campaign, Mayor Mike Bloomberg recently proposed a
         drastic increase to the city’s tax on cigarettes. Alongside encouraging smokers to quit,
         this measure is expected to raise about $250 million for New York’s coffers.

         Since their cause is not the easiest to defend, smokers who oppose the tax increase
         lack the community support that health care advocates are able to rally for such
         measures. However, economists and social policy experts also believe that while sin
         taxes might be good political theory, they are actually poor public policy. Critics point
         out that these taxes hit the poor disproportionately harder and are by their very nature
         counter-intuitive. Because the cigarette tax is ultimately a revenue-raising measure, it
         puts government in the position of relying on the very behavior it claims to discourage
         for funds. Also, there is the issue of whether a government should even seek to modify
         behavior through taxation.

Staten Island Advance - April 1, 2002
        Lighting up more expensive than ever
        Michael Hill, AP Reporter

       Starting Wednesday, a pack of cigarettes will carry a $1.50 levy.

       New York's cigarette tax is rising again, and so is Wendy
       Smith's ire.

      "This is the United States. It's supposed to be the land of the free," said
      Smith, a smoker who lives north of Syracuse. "They're cramming these
       taxes down our throat, and these bogus laws. I think it's ridiculous!"

      The object of Smith's fury is a 39-cent-a-pack state tax increase taking
      effect Wednesday. The $1.50 levy will give New York the highest cigarette
      tax in the nation, topping Washington by 7.5 cents. While the increase is
      expected to reduce tobacco use, many smokers will either lump it or --
      like Smith -- simply purchase cigarettes from merchants outside the reach
     of the state's tax collectors.

     Tobacco tax critics like Audrey Silk, founder of New York City Citizens
     Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, argue that most smokers will
     keep smoking, but not all will continue to spend their money in New York.

Associated Press - April 1, 2002
         Lighting up more expensive than ever
         Indian reservations, Internet sites, however, are exempt for taxes
         By Carolyn Thompson

         BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Reservation smoke shops and Internet sites expect to
         sell more tax-free cigarettes when the state's higher tax takes effect Wednesday.

Staten Island Advance - April 2, 2002
         Island stores fear tax hikes will drive smokers to N.J.
         Dealers say $7-a-pack cigarettes will cost them a lot of business
         By Heidi Singer

        By summer, a pack of cigarettes in New York City could reach a
        record-breaking $7. On car-loving Staten Island, deli owners worry the hike
        could hurt, if drivers head for cheaper New Jersey markets.

The Post Standard (Syracuse.com) - April 2, 2002
         GOP turns back county smoking ban
         Warner-Winslow proposal falls one vote short. DiBlasi's
         motion also loses.
         By Teri Weaver

        Republican Onondaga County legislators narrowly defeated a local law
        Monday that would have banned smoking in many of the county's
        restaurants, businesses, bowling alleys and bingo halls.

NY Newsday - April 3, 2002
        Cigarette Tax Takes Hold
        By Curtis L. Taylor

        Standing outside a bodega on Rockaway Boulevard in
        South Ozone Park, Rahlo Paige, 22, expressed
        outrage as he forked over $5.75 for a pack of Newports
        as the state’s new $1.50-per-pack tax levy boosted the
        price by 39 cents Wednesday.

        But Paige nearly went ballistic when told of Mayor
        Michael Bloomberg’s pending proposal to increase the
        price of a pack of smokes locally by another $1.42.

        “That is crazy,” Paige said. “Somebody is smoking
        something if they think we will pay $7.25 for a pack of

Associated Press - April 4, 2002
        Doctors target deaths, diseases from secondhand smoke
        By Michael Virtanen

       ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Physicians described deaths and diseases
       they see from secondhand smoke, as the state Medical Society
       announced an educational campaign Thursday about the dangers of
       breathing other people's smoke.

       The society also backed legislation that would further curb smoking in
       restaurants and workplaces.

       "As far as we're concerned secondhand smoking is smoking," said Dr.
       Murray Nusbaum, an obstetrician and gynecologist from the Utica area.
       "There isn't any difference."

Reuters - April 30, 2002
         Co-op board bars new owners from smoking
         By Gail Appleson

        A Manhattan cooperative housing board has become the first operator of a large
        complex to bar new owners from smoking in their own apartments, a move lawyers
        predicted on Tuesday will be challenged in court.

        Last week's vote by the board of a 452-unit building at 180 West End Avenue near
        Lincoln Center was first reported by the New York Times on Tuesday.

        The board unanimously adopted the smoking ban after residents complained about smoke
        seeping through their vents, according to the paper. The co-op board will require buyers to
        declare whether they smoke, an admission that could lead to the rejection of their application,
        the paper reported.

        The rule will only apply to new owners who move in after April 22.

timesunion.com - May 13, 2002
        Smokers will pay, state says

        With New York City and the state looking to reap more money from
         tobacco taxes, the question of enforcing sales tax collections is
         becoming an increasingly burning issue.

         But fear not, says the state tax department.

         Spokesman Marc Carey says merchandisers are expected to collect
         and remit taxes on products sold through the Internet, catalogs or
         phone. If sellers don't collect taxes, New York consumers are expected
         to figure out how much tax was supposed to be charged and send a
         check to Taxation and Finance, Carey said.

         NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note:  For anyone reading this, WE say fear not.  Empty threats.

Reuters - June 14, 2002
        U.S. Senators offer bill regulating tobacco by FDA
        By Susan Cornwell

       WASHINGTON, June 14 - The Food and Drug Administration would regulate
       tobacco products under legislation introduced on Friday by a bipartisan group of senators
       looking to stop tobacco advertising aimed at children.

      Co-sponsor Sen. Edward Kennedy denied the intent was to ban smoking.
      "This legislation is about protecting children," the Massachusetts Democrat
      told a news conference. "There are Americans who are going to smoke,
      and we understand that."

      The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that the FDA had
      overstepped in authority in 1996 when it issued sweeping regulations for
      tobacco products.

Associated Press - June 14, 2002
        Restaurant owners back smoking bans

        ALBANY -- A restaurant lobby group that has long opposed anti-smoking
        laws now supports a statewide restriction on smoking in their businesses,
        giving a major push to a bill that could become law next week.

       The survey of the New York State Restaurant Association found 53
       percent of those responding supports a standard, statewide restriction to
       ban smoking in all dining areas of restaurants, but to allow smoking in bar

       NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note:  This is a case of "the hell with the little restaurants, we want them to be as miserable
       as us and level the economic playing field."

Times Union - June 15, 2002
         Deal on restaurant smoking bill reached
         By James M. Odato

        Albany -- Measure to restrict tobacco use in all eateries in the state,
        beginning next year with larger establishments

        New York's restaurants will be required to segregate smokers or ban
        smoking under a deal consummated Friday between the Assembly and
        Senate, according to a bill sponsor.

The Post-Standard (Syracuse.com) - June 20, 2002
         Restaurant smoking ban bill in jeopardy
         By Erik Kriss

         Lighting up in restaurants might continue to be OK in New York despite
         intense efforts by some state lawmakers to ban the practice.

        Efforts to achieve compromise legislation to ban smoking in eating
        establishments appeared to be derailed Wednesday, with one day left in
        the scheduled 2002 state legislative session.

timesunion.com - June 20, 2002
        Smoking, drug law measures sputter as session nears end

        Albany-- Differences stall ban on secondhand smoke in

        Bills to allow more flexible sentencings of drug offenders and make
        restaurants smoke-free ran into trouble Wednesday, leading to
        substantial pessimism the issues will be resolved this session.

        But as a ban on secondhand smoke and reforms of the Rockefeller Drug
        Laws seemed increasingly unlikely this year, other bills popped up
        suddenly with much momentum.

Bloomberg.com - June 20, 2002
        N.Y. Judge May Cut Tobacco Settlement and Legal Fees
        By Patrick Oster

        A judge said he may set aside $625 million
        in lawyers' fees from New York's settlement of litigation with Philip Morris Cos.
        and other cigarette makers and may even overturn the state's $25 billion share
        of the $206 billion national agreement.

        New York Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Ramos said he was ``in
        possession of facts suggesting unethical conduct,'' and that he might refer the
        matter to the state bar committee on discipline if he's convinced the fees are

The Post-Standard (Syracuse.com) - June 22, 2002
         Smoking-ban debate lights up meeting
         County legislature committee hears health commissioner speak for such a ban.
         By Teri Weaver

         Onondaga County's top health official urged county legislators Friday to
         limit secondhand smoke in restaurants, bowling alleys and bingo halls,
         saying smoking-related illnesses can cost county taxpayers more than
         $38 million each year.

         County legislators have been debating the issue for more than a year,
         and it's been anything but straightforward for them.

        The smoking committee, led by Legislator James Murphy, R-Skaneateles,
        spent nearly 30 minutes Friday discussing whether the bipartisan
        committee would be able to write a local law together. It was the
        committee's fifth meeting since April, when a proposed local law failed in
        the full legislature by one vote.

Staten Island Advance - July 1, 2002
         New tax chokes smokers
         Cost of cigarettes tops $7.50 a pack as city enacts new $1.50 per
         pack tax; some officials worry hike will backfire as smokers seek
         cheaper supplies
         By David Andreatta

         New York City smokers are gasping today, and not just from cigarette use.

        The largest cigarette tax hike in city history went into effect today, making
        a pack of cigarettes the most expensive in the nation at a cost of $7.90 at
        some retail stores.

        "It's like a modified Boston Tea Party," said Audrey Silk, founder of New
        York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.).
        "What this is really about is getting people to quit. How dare the
        government try to manipulate behavior?"

Reuters - July 1, 2002
        Cigarette companies sue US states over escrow laws

        Five cigarette manufacturers sued a group of state attorneys
        general Monday over state laws that force them to contribute to escrow
        accounts to cover future tobacco litigation over health care claims.

        The plaintiff companies, which did not participate in the 1998 national
        settlement between states and major tobacco companies, filed suit in
        Manhattan federal court alleging the laws passed by more than 30 states
        are unconstitutional.

        The plaintiffs in the case include Grand River Enterprises Six Nations, a
        Canadian company owned by Native North Americans on tribal land in
        Ontario; Jash International, a DeKalb, Ill. company that imports cigarettes
        into the United States that are made in India; and Sun Tobacco, a North
        Miamai Beach, Fla. company that makes cigarettes in Colombia and sells
        them to distributors and wholesalers in Florida.

Associated Press - July 1, 2002
Smokers Upset As States Boost Taxes
by Sara Kugler

NEW YORK (AP) - New Yorkers already pay $5 for a cappuccino and have been known to fork over $12 for a martini. But there was plenty of grumbling from smokers Monday as they began paying more than $7 for a pack of cigarettes.

"Ten years ago I said I would never pay $5 for a pack of cigarettes, but if it's something that you want to do, you'll find a way to do it," Rochelle Frederick, 43, said as she lit up a Merit. The pack cost her $7.50.

It costs so much because New York City has bumped its per-pack tax from 8 cents to $1.50. It was a nasty blow to smokers, who were just getting used to a state tax increase of $1.50 per pack that took effect in May.

New Yorkers now pay double the national average for cigarettes.

"I might have to actually start investigating other avenues to get my fix," said Tony McHugh, 34, as he puffed a Camel and sipped coffee with a pack of smokers during a morning break. "It's going to hurt a lot but it won't cause me to quit."

McHugh, who smokes a pack a day, shook his head when asked how much he spent on cigarettes before the tax hike. With the increase, he will burn more than $2,500 a year on cigarettes.

"Ay caramba - I told you not to tell me that," McHugh said when he heard the figure.

The tax is expected to generate an additional $111 million this year for the city, which is trying to close a $5 billion budget gap. With a new fiscal year beginning Monday, the city also instituted new fees for cell phones and parking violations, and eliminated glass and plastic from its recycling program.

Other states have bumped their cigarette taxes this year, including: New Jersey (70 cents per pack), Vermont (49 cents) and Illinois (40 cents). A 69-cents-per-pack increase will begin July 15 in Pennsylvania, more than tripling the 31-cent tax.

New Jersey and New York state both levy $1.50 per pack, behind only Washington state.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other lawmakers say they hope the higher prices will encourage more smokers to quit. But critics said smokers will simply buy inexpensive cigarettes over the Internet, in nearby states or from American Indian reservations.

Many smokers said they felt unfairly targeted by lawmakers, who they said can get away with taxing cigarettes because the habit is no longer socially acceptable.

Becky Rabinowitz, 59, rolled her eyes and imitated nonsmokers who wrinkle their noses and wave away the smoke from her Misty Menthol Lights as they walk by her office building.

"Why do the smokers have to be penalized?" said Rabinowitz, who has smoked for more than 40 years. "There are other taxes they could be raising that they aren't."

NY Newsday - July 4, 2002
        Town Clears the Air
       Huntington bans playground smoking
         By Alfonso A. Castillo

        Responding to residents' concerns over the problem,
        Huntington has become the first town on Long Island to
        ban smoking in park playgrounds.

         Town board member Mark Cuthbertson said the
          initiative would work to help children in many ways,
          including reducing exposure to secondhand smoke.

          Cuthbertson said that while the town would not
          necessarily have more code enforcement officers
          patrolling playgrounds, it will respond to complaints. He
          added that such a law is most effective as a deterrent.

NY Newsday - July 8, 2002
        Bill would tighten restrictions on restaurant bars, private offices

        WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) _ Restaurant bars, one of
         the last bastions of Westchester's indoor smokers,
         would be added to the no-smoking list under a bill
         proposed Monday by County Executive Andrew Spano.

         Currently, bars in restaurants can allow smoking if
         there is a barrier between smoking and nonsmoking
         areas. Under Spano's proposal, smoking would be
         banned entirely in restaurants unless there is a
         separately ventilated smoking room. The room could
         not be used as a waiting area for diners. Bars without
         restaurants would not be affected.

         Existing law also permits smoking in private offices, but
         the new law would ban it.

The Journal News - July 9, 2002
         Spano would segregate smokers in restaurants
         By Glenn Blain

         WHITE PLAINS — Smokers beware. Westchester County Executive
         Andrew Spano wants you out of most public places, including offices and
          bowling alleys, and confined to separate rooms while you puff away.

          Spano's proposal, announced yesterday, is intended to limit exposure to
          second-hand smoke by restricting the practice to self-enclosed and
          separately ventilated rooms. Only bars and taverns that do not serve food
          would still be allowed to permit smoking in non-secluded areas.

Buffalo News - July 10, 2002
        No-smoking proposal up for comment
        By Todd Fielding, Wyoming Correspondent

        WARSAW - A proposed local law would ban smoking in public places.

         If approved by the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors, the measure would
         prohibit smoking in restaurants, bars, private clubs, bowling centers, schools,
         stores, municipal facilities and convention halls.

Gotham Gazette - July 15, 2002
         Smoking In New York

         The Smoker's Choice tobacco shop across the street from City Hall has
         survived the economic ups-and-downs of the last 25 years
         and even the events of September 11, when the store was forced to
         close for 10 days. But manager Gautam Patel says the shop might
         not be able to endure Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new $1.42 tax
         on a pack of cigarettes.

         "In the first week since the tax, my sales are down 70 percent," said
          Patel. "We were not scared for the business after September 11, but we
          are afraid of this."

         Patel said his customers -- who are mostly business people and tourists -- are
         "not stupid" and are simply refusing to pay $7 for a pack of cigarettes when they
          can get them elsewhere for less. "They tell me they will buy them on the Internet,
          in New Jersey, or on Indian reservations," he said.

NY Newsday - August 10, 2002
        Rebuttal on Proposal
        City speaker: Still considering anti-smoking bill
        By Dan Janison and Lola Alapo

        In a tactical misstep, Mayor Michael Bloomberg
        boasted inaccurately Friday that the City Council
        speaker supports his sweeping new anti-smoking bill.
        The legislative leader, Gifford Miller, later emphasized
        he has yet to back it.

NY Newsday - August 12, 2002
        Ban Smoking in City Bars? Yes, for Health's Sake

        New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today will ask the
        City Council to ban smoking in all restaurants and bars
        in the five boroughs. We hope the council agrees.

NY Newsday - August 12, 2002
        Smoking Ban in Bars Reeks
        Dennis Duggan

        Like a lot of New Yorkers, Markson, author of nine
        books, says Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to
        ban smoking altogether from bars will go the way of

NY Newsday - August 13, 2002
        Bloomberg touts smoking ban

        NEW YORK (AP) _ Mayor Michael Bloomberg
        announced new details of his anti-smoking plan
        Monday _ and publicly urged city council members to
        turn the proposed ban into law.

        Besides bars and restaurants with less than 35 seats,
        the ban would include office buildings, company cars,
        city-owned cars, convention halls, billiard halls, bingo
        parlors and other types of businesses.

NY Newsday - August 13, 2002
        Not Just Blowing Smoke
        Bloomberg presses his case for broad anti-tobacco law
        By Dan Janison

        Unveiling a sweeping anti-tobacco bill, Mayor Michael
        Bloomberg warned yesterday that children might one
        day sue parents over second-hand smoke - and called
        smokers "stupid."

        The measure, which requires City Council approval,
        would ban all smoking for the first time in bars,
        restaurants, bingo parlors and bowling alleys.

        In addition, private offices and other workplaces would
        have to eliminate smoking lounges. Even ashtrays
        would have to be removed from corridors and hallways,
        with smoking barred in the city's automobile fleet.

        In City Hall Park, Bloomberg hosted supporters
        including health advocates, activists, bar owners and
        other supporters and some council members.

        But he also found himself talking over a heckler who
        has his doubts about the effects of second-hand

        "You're lying!" shouted Scott LoBaido of Staten Island.
        "This is ludicrous! Wake up! We're at war. Can't we
         relax and have a cigarette?" After 10 minutes, a police
        officer persuaded him to walk away and LoBaido sat on a bench. A woman with
        him silently held a sign that said "Dictators Always Lie."

NY Newsday - August 13, 2002
        Pool Halls to Mayor: Butt Out!
        By Bryan Virasami and Pete Bowles

        Patrons of smoke-filled pool halls are upset about being
        included in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's bank shot
        anti-smoking combination.

The Sun - August 13, 2002
         L.A. Envy
         Editorials & Opinion

         It feels a bit like Los Angeles here in New York these days.

        Now, our mayor is trying to import L.A.’s health fanaticism to the
        city that never sleeps by outlawing smoking in our bars and restaurants.

NY Newsday - August 14, 2002
        Mayor's Smoke Screen
        By Dan Janison

        Mayor Michael Bloomberg's drive for the toughest
        municipal smoking ban in America is fueled by a blend
        of new city leaders, big tobacco's stained credibility,
        polling support and a personal quest, political experts say.

NY Newsday - August 14, 2002
        Big Tobacco Fights Plan to Snuff Fire Safety
        By Kevin James
           Kevin James is a supervising fire marshal of the Fire
           Department of New York and a current Revson fellow
           at Columbia University.

        Just as New York State gets ready to release regulations protecting citizens from
        smouldering cigarette-ignited fires, a New York member of Congress, Rep.
        Edolphus Towns (D-Brooklyn), is attempting to let the industry off the hook.

Village Voice - August 15, 2002
         The Mayor Wants to Ban Smoking in Bars to Protect Workers
         Against Second-Hand Smoke. Choked Up?
         by Coco McPherson

         A collection of opinions about what people think about Bloomberg's smoking ban.
         8 Opinions - 1 For the Ban, 1 Indifferent, 6 Against the Ban (including nonsmokers)

New York Sun - August 15, 2002
        Smokers Are "Pissed" at Bloomberg
        By Scott Gottlieb

We should have seen it coming when Mr. Bloomberg, as chief executive of his namesake financial company, banned certain
dirty words from all the company's outgoing e-mails. This left his staff pissed, which, incidentally, was one of the banned words.

Now the mayor who smoked marijuana "and enjoyed it" cannot see fit to let fellow New Yorkers puff on a cigarette or a
stogie. His taxes already make New York the most expensive place in America to smoke.

Mr. Bloomberg is an avowed antismoker and he wants the rest of us to follow his rules. But when government officials impose
their own values on the people who elect them, it tears at the fabric of the law.

NY Newsday - August 15, 2002
        Survey: LIers Want Smoking Restricted
        Most favor ban in restaurants, workplaces
        By Leo Ebersole

        Two of every three Long Islanders think smoking should
        be banned in restaurants and the workplace if it
        subjects nonsmokers and employees to secondhand
        smoke. And one of four would dine out more if there
        were a total ban at Long Island restaurants, according
        to a survey released yesterday by the Tobacco Action
        Coalition of Long Island.

NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note - An anti-smoking organization commissioned this survey.  Might as well hold up a survey conducted by the tobacco industry and call it definitive proof.

Times Ledger - August 15, 2002
         Boro bar workers oppose mayor’s smoking ban bill
         By Jonathan Kay

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has launched a campaign to ban smoking from most businesses, including bars, restaurants of all sizes and pool halls in a move that has bartenders and bar managers throughout Queens up in arms.
Many bartenders in the borough, who fear the ban would cause their businesses to suffer, said they were fully aware of the prevalence of second-hand smoke in bars when they entered the field.

“You choose that profession,” said Jim Scott, a bartender at Bellview Bar and Grill at 39-24 Bell Blvd. in Bayside. “If you choose that atmosphere and that job, (second-hand smoke) is part of it.”

Dennis Keane, manager of Dan Foley’s Pub at 81-01 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale, said if the legislation is passed, it will be difficult for bars to obey the law.

“I think this is forcing bars and restaurants to break the law,” Keane said. “There is no way to stop people from smoking in bars. (Bars) will lose too much business.”

Associated Press - August 16, 2002
        Smokers steamed over mayor's plan to ban smoking in New York City
        By Erin McClam

        Depending on which smoker you ask, the proposal _
        which must still clear the City Council _ is either a
        personal affront or an attack on the appeal of New York itself.

        "New York is the capital of the world," said Audrey
        Silk, founder of the smoker-rights group NYC CLASH.
        "The charm of New York is our differences. Now you
         want to create this bland, faceless city?"

NY Newsday - August 23, 2002
        Smoked Out
        An area-wide ban on butts in bars, restaurants sought
        By Errol A. Cockfield Jr

         Matching proposals in nearby New York City and Westchester County, Democratic lawmakers in Nassau County have
        introduced legislation that would completely ban smoking at bars, restaurants and bingo halls by 2006.

        In Suffolk County, lawmakers said they planned to unveil a similar bill next month. Officials from all four municipalities
        have been conferring in an effort to create a uniform law.

NY Newsday - August 23, 2002
        Some Support Ban, and Some Despair
        By Alfonso A. Castillo

        Across Nassau County yesterday, restaurant and bar owners and patrons were surprised to hear news of the proposed
        law, with reactions ranging from anger and despair to strong support for the idea.

Associated Press - August 26, 2002
        City Nabs Illegal Cigarettes
        By Erin McClam

        NEW YORK -- Standing behind a chest-high pile of more than
        237,000 seized cigarettes, city officials said Monday they had cracked
        down on stores selling tobacco without a license.

        But smoker advocates say black-market sales will only grow in New
        York, where a tax hike has pushed cigarettes to $7.50 a pack and the
        mayor is waging a policy war against smoking.

        The result is that more smokers are buying cigarettes more cheaply
        off the Internet, at Native American reservations and from unlicensed
        retailers, said Audrey Silk, founder of the smoker-rights group NYC

        "This is Bloomberg's doing. He set up a lucrative business. They can
        all thank him," she said Monday. "Anyone who has any idea of how to
        cash in is doing so. He's creating outlaws out of normally decent,
        law-abiding people."

NY Newsday - August 29, 2002
        Common Ground Sought on Anti-Smoking Bill
        By Errol A. Cockfield Jr and Alfonso Castillo

        Officials from Nassau, Suffolk, New York City and Westchester met in
        Mineola yesterday to seek consensus on their varying proposals to prohibit
        smoking in workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

New York Sun - September 17, 2002
        Officials Fume At Online Sale of Cigarettes
        Tax Hike Drives Buyers To Go Out-of-State
        By Matthew Sweeney

New York’s $1.50 per pack cigarette tax has triggered a booming business in online tobacco sales — and that has some city officials fuming.

“We’ll have to tighten the laws,” said the city Department of Finance Commissioner Martha Stark. “The ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] can do a lot more. The Department of Justice can do a lot more. It might be that we need some legislative changes.”

Cigarette sales are down by one-third from August of last year, but it’s impossible to tell how many people quit smoking — and how many are sprinting through a legal loophole that shortcuts local taxes.

But there is no means of tracking Internet tobacco sales. Which means there is no way of determining how much tax revenue is being lost.

NY Newday - September 17, 2002
        Bill Aims to Ban Workplace Smoking
        By J. Jioni Palmer

For almost 20 years, Suffolk County has been slowly eroding people's rights to smoke in public. With one more measure, the butts could stop here.

A group of bipartisan lawmakers today is expected to unveil a bill that bans smoking in virtually all workplaces - including bingo halls, bowling alleys, bars and restaurants. This effort is the product of talks with officials in Nassau, Westchester and New York City to provide a regional standard for workplace smoking.

The Suffolk bill would allow smoking only in private homes and in private enclosed offices occupied exclusively by smokers. Smoking also would be permitted in outdoor seating at bars and restaurants. State and federal property are exempt from the
county's jurisdiction.

Since talks among policymakers in the downstate region became public last month, the concept of a complete ban has run into stiff opposition from restaurant and bar owners who say businesses will go belly up as customers opt to stay home to smoke in peace.

Suffolk Legis. Fred Towle (R-Shirley) said the ban is too intrusive and takes away people's ability to make decisions. "There comes a point when government has gone too far," he said.

NY Observer - September 26, 2002
        Mayor to Kick Elected Butts on Smoking
        by Greg Sargent

Mayor Michael Bloomberg likes to advertise himself as a consensus-builder who prefers compromise to combat. But when it comes to his war against smoking, Mr. Bloomberg is about as flexible as an iron lung.

The Mayor is privately threatening to retaliate against City Council members who fail to support his current proposal to ban smoking in all New York City bars and restaurants, Council sources told The Observer.

In a recent closed-door discussion with City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, Mr. Bloomberg said in stark terms that he would seek to undermine the future electoral prospects of Council members who don’t vote for the ban, according to members who have discussed the matter with the Speaker.

Brooklyn Skyline - October 1, 2002
        Council To Vote On Smoking Ban
        By Dan McLean

Bars, pool and bingo halls, hotel lobbies and small restaurants all allow smoking. But under a new law being pushed by the mayor, smoking would now be banned in those places — making the smoking lounge a thing of the past.

Fifteen councilmembers have already signed on supporting the bill, but it’s not a done deal yet.

NY Newsday - October 8, 2002
       No Butts About It
        Nassau backs ban on smoking in all workplaces, including bars
           By Errol A. Cockfield Jr

The Nassau County Legislature yesterday passed the toughest anti-smoking bill in the state, banning the practice in all workplaces including restaurants, bars and bingo halls.

Lawmakers voted 10-8 along party lines. Democrats, who hold a one-vote majority, supported the measure, while Republicans voted against it.

Republicans voiced strong opposition to the bill, arguing that Democrats had taken a heavy hand to individual rights. They also said the bill would hurt business owners, especially smaller mom-and-pop operations.

Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) said he was disturbed by the approach Democrats took in crafting the legislation.

"There's an attitude that we know better than you," he said.

NY Newsday - October 9, 2002
        Restaurateurs Should Decide Smoking Issue
        By Robert A. Levy, senior fellow in constitutional
        studies at the Cato Institute.

Fireworks are expected at the City Council hearing scheduled for October 10, as New Yorkers wrangle over Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to ban smoking in all restaurants and bars. For now, smokers and nonsmokers have been debating which group's rights should trump. Actually, both groups miss the point. So does Bloomberg, businessman extraordinaire, whose proposal proves that he hasn't the foggiest notion of what private property is about. Smokers have no right to light up in my restaurant. Nor do nonsmokers have a right to prevent smokers from lighting up in my restaurant.

Indeed, Mayor Bloomberg's proposed ban is about unrestrained government — an anti-tobacco crusade against 13,000 private businesses without grounding in fairness or common sense, and without an appreciation for the principles that nourish a free society.

NY Newsday - October 9, 2002
        Smoking War Heats Up
        Suffolk lawmakers consider workplace ban similar to Nassau’s
        By Valerie Burgher

In the wake of Nassau County's passage Monday of a far-reaching ban on smoking in public places, the Suffolk County Legislature spent yesterday listening to sometimes-heated arguments over a similar measure that would prevent residents from lighting up in any indoor workplace, including bars and restaurants.

NY Newsday - October 10, 2002
        Anti-Smoke Ads Spark Alarm
        By Dan Janison and Graham Rayman

A million-dollar ad blitz, funded by taxpayers and touting the Bloomberg administration's anti-smoking proposal, has even some supporters of the legislation questioning the campaign's appropriateness.

"I think it's a close call, but I think it's over the line," said Gene Russianoff of the New York Public Interest Group, of the broadcast ads. Yet the group supports the bill.

Associated Press - October 10, 2002
        Dutchess County bans smoking in public places

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) _ Smoking will be banned inside restaurants and other public places in Dutchess County starting Jan. 1 under a measure enacted Thursday.

The proposal approved by county legislators last month became law when County Executive William Steinhaus declined to take action on it. However, in a six-page memo Thursday, Steinhaus said the law as written with "many flaws and defects cannot be implemented, administered or enforced." He urged the legislature to revisit it.

NY Sun - October 10, 2002
        Mother Bloomberg

Today Mayor Bloomberg is testifying before the health committee of the City Council to defend his proposed ban on smoking in all bars and restaurants. While those in the opposition may restrain themselves, we would not blame them for addressing Mr. Bloomberg as “mother,” rather than as mayor. The appellation would be inspired by Mother Nation, the iconic little old lady who fought for temperance, sometimes violently, at the turn of the century at Kansas.

Mother Bloomberg has his own past with tobacco, once having been a fiendish smoker and now having seen the light. Mother Bloomberg is a true believer, as Mother Nation was, but that does not mean that either was right-headed. While some may find comparing anti-smoking policies today to the prohibition of alcohol early in the last century a bit overblown, we do not. Now, as then, the prohibitionists are imbued with a sense of mission that bounds beyond public policy into the realm of the religious. Mother Bloomberg may not thump the Bible as Mother Nation did, but he believes in the moral rightness of his cause every bit as much.

Mother Bloomberg has made it clear that whether it is taxes, smoking bans, or saturation broadcasting, he will beat up on the smokers. Mother Nation told the assembly, “You refused me the vote and I had to use the rock.” We’ll see what the Council is made of. With alcohol, the nation eventually came to understand the folly of prohibition and the virtues of choice. We have no doubt that someday Mother Bloomberg’s campaign will come to be looked upon with the kind of bemusement with which we now look upon that of his famous forbearer.

S.I. Advance - October 10, 2002
        Islanders plan to get butts down to City Hall
        By David Andreatta

Bar owners and economists were among those planning to lobby the City Council today to extinguish the mayor's proposed smoking ban, saying the measure would turn residential neighborhoods into ashtrays and further cripple the economy.

Hundreds of smokers -- including more than 100 Staten Island bar patrons and owners -- are expected to rally outside City Hall for the right to puff away in bars, bingo halls and every other venue targeted by the ban.

Despite widespread support for the plan in the Council, Audrey Silk of the New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.) believes today's hearing will sway lawmakers.

"We're optimistic because there are just too many people that are against this, including nonsmokers," Ms. Silk said. "Bloomberg is one man on a crusade at the expense of citizens."

NY Newsday - October 11, 2002
        Anger in the Air
        Anti-smoking bill draws noisy crowd to council hearing
        By Margaret Ramirez

Mayor Michael Bloomberg faced down an irate crowd of smoking advocates in City Hall yesterday, defending his bill to clear the air in restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, bingo parlors and pool halls.

Turnout for the much-promoted hearing was so large that police were forced to restrict the number of people entering the building, so scores of advocates and opponents of the legislation milled about in City Hall Plaza during the testimony, some sporting large, unlit cigars, other wearing T-shirts that read "Hey Mike, Butt Out."

NY Newsday - October 11, 2002
        Speaker Weighs Consequences
        By Curtis L. Taylor

The fate of the mayor's anti-smoking bill rests with the Democratic majority headed by City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who appears to want it watered down on behalf of neighborhood advocates and others who contend it could push smokers out of the bars and into the streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's legislation is also unpopular among restaurant and bar owners as well as an older generation more tolerant of smoking as a social activity and public fact of life, some council members have noted.

For Miller, all the same, taking some of the teeth out of the controversial public health measure could be as difficult as kicking the habit.

"I haven't made up my mind; there is a lot to think about," Miller told reporters outside yesterday's standing-room-only council hearing on the bill.

Miller is expected to spend the next several weeks researching the issue, meeting with key committee members and trying to see what part of the bill, if any, may be negotiable.

"My colleagues have a lot of different positions on this position," Miller said. "You have to be thoughtful about what the economic impacts are, what the health impacts are and try to strike the right balance.

"The mayor says he doesn't think it appropriate to go into private homes; others may think it's an appropriate balance, and we are discussing it."

Associated Press - October 11, 2002
        Smoking Ban Causes Debate in N.Y.
        By Timothy Williams

Physicians testified that 30 minutes spent breathing second-hand smoke in a bar is worse than the Holland Tunnel at rush hour. Smokers argued for their right to risk their health.

In one of the more raucous - and crowded - City Council hearings in recent years, hundreds of people packed into the council's chamber Thursday to denounce or support a bill submitted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and other workplaces.

NY Sun - October 11, 2002
        It's Bar Owners vs. Bloomberg at Hearing On Smoking Ban Plan
        By Matthew Sweeney

While Mr. Bloomberg took a hard line, Council Speaker Gifford Miller said the council needed "to strike a balance" between the mayor's all-or-nothing proposal and the business owners and civil libertarian's argument against government's overreaching into adult behavior.

Mr. Miller used the analogy of a speed limit that kept drivers at 10 m.p.h.  It would cut down on auto accidents, he said, but create a whole new set of problems.  As for those 22 council members who have signed on as co-sponsors of the ban, Mr. Miller said their support for the mayor's ban was only in "concept," and did not mean they wouldn't support a compromise.

S.I. Advance - October 11, 2002
        Debate on smoking ban has a heated opening
        Island restaurant and bar owners go head-to-head with the mayor
        in 1st public hearing on his proposal
        By Heidi Singer

Starry-eyed youths hoping to eliminate smoking from bars they're not old enough to visit clashed yesterday with tough seen-it-all bartenders worried about their livelihoods, in one of the most raucous public-policy debates to visit City Hall in recent years.

A difficult climate for business is "a concern," acknowledged Councilman James Oddo (R-Mid Island), a bill sponsor. "But that's no valid reason to stop us from protecting workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke."

He noted that bar owners also had made dire predictions when the current law banning smoking in most parts of most restaurants was passed. Yesterday, several bar owners praised the law, and said it worked well.

Councilman Michael McMahon (D-North Shore) is opposed to the ban. Councilman Andrew Lanza (R-South Shore) was originally undecided, wanting to hear the restaurant industry's concerns, but after yesterday's hearing, he threw his support behind the bill.

"I just don't think there's a more noble path for government than saving lives," he said. "We've got to take it. All other arguments pale in comparison."

In the end, the bill might change to address bar owners' concerns, he said. Private talk around City Hall yesterday was about compromises such as allowing smokers' rooms or allowing the practice in private clubs, Lanza added.

Although the mayor has accumulated 22 sponsors, and rumors are flying about revenge against Council members who refuse to support him, observers say many members are waiting for a cue from Council Speaker A. Gifford Miller, who revealed little yesterday about his intentions.

Yesterday's hearing in front of the Council's Health Committee was the first of two public forums. The mayor urged that the matter become law by Nov. 21, although Miller quickly dismissed that goal.

NY Observer - October 21, 2002
        Kelly sleuthed ‘insider’ wig and for private firm.
        by Greg Sargent

Six years before Mayor Bloomberg hailed Jeffrey Wigand as a "genuine American hero" for exposing the inner workings of the
tobacco industry, Mr. Bloomberg’s police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, was involved in an industry-funded investigation into Mr. Wigand’s past that was designed to demolish his credibility as a whistleblower, TheObserver has learned.

Although the full extent of Mr. Kelly’s involvement is unclear—one former I.G.I. official described his role as "peripheral"—the revelations could complicate Mr. Bloomberg’s smoking crackdown. His initiative has evolved into a full-blown moral crusade against Big Tobacco, which he has accused of waging a "decades-long disinformation campaign" designed to push a "dangerous product." But Brown and Williamson’s effort to discredit Mr. Wigand surely was part of that "disinformation campaign."

USA Today - October 21, 2002
        New York's Bar Patrons May Lose The Right to Smoke

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a zealous reformed smoker who already has helped make cigarettes here the most highly taxed in the USA, wants to ban smoking at bars, restaurants, pool halls, bingo parlors and bowling alleys. The smoking ban would even extend to outdoor cafes and private clubs. About 13,000 establishments in all would be affected.

Smoking has been banned in most restaurants and office buildings here since 1995. Bloomberg's proposal would extend the prohibition to the hazy heart of smoking in America: the New York barroom. Anti-smoking advocates say if they can stop it here, they can stop it anywhere.

California and Delaware have statewide bans on smoking in bars and restaurants, and dozens of localities have adopted such bans. But New York would be by far the largest city to pass its own measure. Anti-smoking forces are looking forward to an enormous psychological victory.

NY Sun - October 21, 2002
        The Tort Tax

Mayor Bloomberg did a terrific job when he spoke on Friday to the American College of Trial Lawyers at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.  The trial lawyers have long invested against reforms of the system that brings them these big judgments. So they were clearly annoyed upon being told by the mayor, “We need reform and we need it now,” a reference to the tort gold rush in New York City, which cost more than half a billion dollars in the 2001 fiscal year. The mayor insisted that he intends to reduce
this “half-billion dollar ‘tort tax,’” as he called it. The president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Jeffrey Lichtman, promptly told the Associated Press, “It is regrettable that the mayor is seeking to eliminate the budget deficit by
attacking those defenseless victims.”

While the trial lawyer friendly state legislature is paralyzed on such measures, there will be on November 12 a City Council hearing on two bills that would limit pain and suffering awards to $250,000. The mayor’s case will be harder to put over now that he’s thrown in with the tort lawyers and their demagoguery in the matter of secondhand smoke.

Wall Street Journal - October 22, 2002
        Nanny Bloomberg
        By Walter Olson

The New York City Council still hasn't acted on Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to ban smoking from every saloon, pool hall and private club in the five boroughs. But if Gotham's columnists have anything to say about it, the forces of compulsory health may soon be facing their bottled Waterloo. The city's writers, a convivial group by nature, have greeted the idea with a hail of dead cats. At the Daily News, Denis Hamill calls the plan "nuts", and Sid Zion says it would turn New York into "Los Angeles East." Nonsmoking Times Metro columnist Clyde Haberman says the mayor is trying to "reinvent Prohibition."

Those are the mild ones. "It's peevish, pious, anti-urban," satirist Fran Lebowitz told a cable host. Ms. Lebowitz, who once described her hobbies as smoking and plotting revenge, added that the billionaire mayor "is acting like my father. If he is my father, I hope I am in the will." A Post editorial dismissed as "nonsense on its face" Mr. Bloomberg's assertion that secondhand smoke kills 1,000 New Yorkers a year.

Matters came to a head when Mayor Mike testified at an eight-hour council hearing before restaurateurs, waitresses, bartenders and other dupes of Big Tobacco. The tension was palpable, and even some of the mayor's backers wondered why he'd sink so much political capital into the issue given the city's other worries. It seemed to confirm his emergence as the anti-Giuliani: just as the departed Rudy's streak of irreligion leavened the exalted sense of mission he brought to everyday city government, so the issue of saving people from tobacco gives Mr. Bloomberg, no great idealist on most of the topics that cross his desk, a way of saving his soul.

Mr. Bloomberg's pretext for the law, to protect bar workers, is widely scoffed at: safety regulators don't share his view that respecting workers' rights requires a smoking ban. But don't count on a compromise. The mayor says that he wants to ban smoking even at private clubs, the clearest statement he could make of contempt for free association. Elaine Kaufman, the renowned owner of Elaine's, has an interesting idea: giving restaurants the right to buy smoking licenses as they now buy cabaret licenses. But that makes the mistake of assuming that the proposal's aim is merely to ensure an abundance of nonsmoking options for diners and servers, when the real point is to make sure that no such refuges remain for smokers. If even one smoky bar remains in the city, how can the mayor be sure of having saved his soul?

Los Angeles Times - October 28, 2002
        Smoking-ban debate flares in NY
        By Josh Getlin

NEW YORK — Where there's smoke, there's political fire.

"You've got to be stupid, really dumb to smoke," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is trying to pass one of the nation's toughest anti-smoking laws, a measure that would ban the practice in all bars and restaurants.

Ciaran Staunton, who owns O'Neill's bar in Manhattan, is equally blunt about the mayor. "His law would put me out of business," Staunton said as patrons puffed away and knocked back pints of Guinness. "We're going to fight him with every weapon we've got."

The lines have been drawn in New York's smoking war, and a measure that looked as if it might be approved quickly by the City Council several weeks ago is now mired in a nasty political fight, pitting Bloomberg against a potent coalition of tobacco lobbyists and bar and restaurant owners.

S.I. Advance - November 8, 2002
        A cigarette break turns a family upside down
        New Dorp man says the mayor's current fight to ban cigarettes cost him his job unfairly

Robert Swinton spends his days sending out stacks of resumes, surfing Internet job postings, and sweating out how he will pay his bills.

The New Dorp resident says his life has gone up in smoke since the city Housing Authority sacked him six weeks ago, after he
was allegedly caught taking extended cigarette breaks.

Yesterday, Swinton, 52, spoke out publicly for the first time since his termination, lashing out at Housing officials and Mayor
Michael Bloomberg, while vowing to fight to reclaim his $80,000-a-year post.

"I want my job back," said Swinton, flanked by his wife, Margaret, and his lawyer, Ralph P. Casella, in the attorney's New Dorp office. "I feel what was done to me was unfair. I was used as a political pawn for the non-smoking legislation that the mayor submitted to the City Council."

NY Newsday - November 8, 2002
        Nassau Smoking Ban Signed, Revisions Weighed
        By Errol A. Cockfield Jr

Nassau County's smoking ban, the first of its kind in the state, became law Wednesday when County Executive Thomas Suozzi quietly signed the bill Democratic lawmakers approved last month.

The county executive autographed the bill just hours before a 30-day deadline was to expire. Just 10 minutes earlier, a conflicted Suozzi had told a reporter he wouldn't sign it, a move that would have let the bill automatically become law without his endorsement.

Suozzi's wavering highlights the nervousness some Nassau lawmakers feel about the ban, which covers almost all workplaces and takes effect March 1. They fear that if Nassau is the only county in the region with a ban, patrons will drive to areas where they can smoke. That anxiety has come because of uncertainty about the fate of similar proposals in Suffolk County and New York City, where lawmakers are still debating particulars of their own bills.

Suozzi said he supports the legislation, but hesitated to sign it because he may have to pressure legislators to alter the ban if neighboring municipalities pass different versions before the law takes effect.

Irish Echo - November 8, 2002
        Council ponders smoking ban implications
        By Stephen McKinley

A second hearing will be held at City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 12, where testimony will be heard about the ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, pool halls and private clubs proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Supporters and opponents of the ban squared off at the last hearing on Oct. 10, with the former making a strong case that a ban on smoking will benefit the health of bar staff and patrons.

Opponents, including many Irish bar and restaurant owners, have been equally vehement in arguing that the ban will be disastrous for their businesses and that if patrons start to congregate outside bars to smoke, the ban will create further public order and quality-of-life issues.

Reports in the local press have suggested that a blanket ban as proposed by Bloomberg may now be diluted slightly as council members debate alternatives and engage in political horse-trading.

But compromise legislation is likely to allow only cigar bars to permit smoking, and the ban would apply to all other bars and restaurants in the city.

The 56 city council members have remained mostly tight-lipped about their voting intentions, but some have come out strongly on one side or the other. The mayor had been hoping for a vote on the issue on Nov. 21, but that will not happen.

Council member Joseph Addabbo Jr. of District 32 in Queens said that he plans to vote against the ban whenever the vote takes place.

"Many bars and restaurants in my district are surrounded by residences and homes, and there is a major quality-of-life issue there," he said. "Most people like choice, so one compromise could be to offer some sort of tax incentive to bars if they go smoke free. Patrons would have a choice."

Addabbo said that he believed that many of the council members who had co-sponsored the proposed ban with the mayor now felt that "it's a little too strong."

Addabbo, unlike many other council members, said that he had received many calls opposing the ban, indicating that there is strong feeling in his district that a ban would be bad for business and "would bring about unemployment in the district."

Contrasting with Addabbo's position was council member Oliver Koppell, whose Bronx District 11 includes Riverdale and Woodlawn, home to many Irish and Irish-American residents as well as bars and restaurants.

Koppell said he would support a blanket ban despite the fact that he got "some calls" from bar and restaurant owners in Woodlawn.

"The last legislation didn't hurt business," he said, referring to the 1995 smoking legislation that limited smoking in city restaurants to the bar only. "I don't want to hurt business but I do want to protect staff."

Typical of many council members was the response of a spokesperson for council member Tony Avella, District 19 in Queens.

"He is still undecided," the spokesperson said.

Council member Gale Brewer of Manhattan's District 6 said through a spokesperson that she was utterly committed to seeing a blanket ban imposed.

But another co-sponsor, Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn's District 40, indicated, also through a spokesperson, that further discussion was necessary and would happen. Although committed to the ban, the spokesperson said, Clarke was keen to hear further testimony from all sides.

"It's almost like abortion -- it is such a polarizing issue," the spokesperson in Clarke's office said.

Council member Dennis Gallagher of Queens District 24 had suggested, according to some bar owners in Queens, that he would oppose the ban. But a spokesperson at his office said he was "not sure."

Allan Jennings, Queens District 28, was also "reserving his decisions."

Council member Hiram Monserrate of Queens District 21 will propose some changes to the existing legislation, according to a spokesperson. "What he is doing now is trying to put some changes in, like allowing smoking in cigar bars," the spokesperson said. "But he leans toward a ban."

Many council members live in residential areas of the outer boroughs, where there are few bars and restaurants. Council member Maria Provenzano of Bronx District 13 represents a mostly residential area with some Irish bars in the East Bronx, and her office received "a number of emails and calls on both sides."

But Eva Moskowitz's District 4 sprawls up the Upper East Side and includes many of the city's top restaurants and hundreds of popular bars.

"We are considering every angle," said her spokesperson. "She is listening to all sides. We have had hundreds of calls, both denigrating and supporting the ban."

For Manhattan's District 8, a spokesperson said that council member Philip Reed "does not support the ban as it is currently written. He has expressed a lot of his concerns to the mayor himself."

The spokesperson added: "The mayor's office and the city council are negotiating something right now."

James Sanders of Queens District 31 said that he was concerned about the ban's impact.

"Although I personally lean toward the ban, I am not totally sold," he said.

"But the people against this ban, they have not done a good job," Sanders added, indicating that the supporters of the ban were running, in his estimation, a much more efficient, high-profile campaign.

Sanders said he wanted "a compromise that works out well for economic development but attacks secondhand smoke." He suggested that enhanced ventilation might be one option.

One experienced observer of the city council speaking off the record said, "I think that the larger restaurants, a much more powerful lobby group than the bars, basically made their peace with the mayor somehow, and have accepted the ban."

He continued: "The mayor is so much more powerful here than the council members, so the realization is simply that if a council member has 30 things he wants achieved, and he doesn't back the mayor on this one, then he can forget about the other 29."

Bar owners opposed to the ban have said that they believe support in the city council for the mayor's ban is slipping.

Whether that is true may be seen in evidence at the next hearing on Nov. 12.

Ottawa Citizen - November 12, 2002
        New York eyes our smoking bylaw
        Big Apple invites Munter to explain how Ottawa did it
        Zev Singer

New York City politicians have come to Ottawa City Council for advice on how to run the Big Apple.

As New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets ready to bring a smoking ban across all five of his famous boroughs, he is looking around for cities that already have successful bans in place.

To that end, New York city council yesterday flew in Ottawa Councillor Alex Munter, who will address that city's health committee this morning.

Mr. Munter said he was chosen to address the committee because they wanted to hear about Ottawa's smoking bylaw from an elected official willing to take the political risk to support a ban against loud opposition.

The ban proposed for New York would go beyond Ottawa's bylaw, by prohibiting smoking at outdoor patios. Mr. Munter said he would try to communicate his opinion, without offending his hosts, that such a ban might be going too far.

NY Newsday - November 13, 2002
        New Testimony On Smoking Ban
        By Margaret Ramirez

In one corner sat bartenders and cocktail waitresses who bemoaned nosebleeds and sinus problems from secondhand smoke at work.

In the other corner, nightclub owners and neighborhood bar merchants said a smoking ban would damage the nightlife industry, capapulting smokers out of their establishments and onto the streets.

So went the Great Smoking Debate in City Hall Tuesday, as the second City Council hearing on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s bid to ban smoking from all indoor public spaces drew another standing-room-only crowd.

Robert Bookman of the New York Nightlife Association argued that a smoking ban would not stop people from smoking — people will just find another place to puff.

Bookman assailed medical data on the dangers of secondhand smoke, saying they are based on exposure in homes, not in nightclubs.

“It is frankly irresponsible to use scary numbers of people dying without showing who these people are, whether or not they were smokers themselves, and where they were exposed to smoke, and how long,” said Bookman.

David Rabin, co-owner of Lotus, a Chelsea nightclub, said that in trying to secure the 2012 Summer Olympic bid for New York, Bloomberg repeatedly referred to New York as the city that never sleeps.

Rabin said if the smoking ban passes, then New York will become known as “the city that goes to bed at 10:30 p.m.”

The Buffalo News - November 13, 2002
        Supervisors Reject Smoking Ban

Wyoming County supervisors Tuesday defeated a proposed smoking ban in public places, a measure believed to have been one of the most comprehensive in the state.

Supervisors in eight Wyoming County towns voted against the measure, pointing to concerns ranging from the cost to area businesses to possible infringement of civil liberties if the measure were imposed.

Christian Science Monitor - November 15, 2002
        In New York, a firefight over smoke-free bars
        Mayor Bloomberg's crusade runs into a balky City Council.
        By Alexandra Marks

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg makes no bones about what he things of smokers: "You've got to be stupid, really dumb to smoke." With that blunt assessment, the billionaire businessman-turned-mayor touched off what's become the most
contentious battle of first year in office - his fight to ban smoking in most public places, including all bars and restaurants.

But those plans have been stamped out. This is one fight that's proved there is fire, and lots of it, when you threaten to take away New Yorkers' already limited rights to light up. (A 1995 ban prohibits smoking in public buildings and restaurants that seat more than 35 people.)

"They're trying to socially engineer people who choose to smoke, and believe me, people choose to continue to smoke," says
Audrey Silk, the founder of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment. She was standing on the steps of City Hall carrying a sign that says "Smoke Bloomberg and His Ban!" just prior to the second City Council hearing on the measure.

City Council members have been trying to negotiate some exceptions to the ban - for instance, for cigar bars and establishments which install high-tech filtering devices. But so far, Mr. Bloomberg has refused to budge. And the council is refusing to vote, at least until next year.

Irish Echo - November 20, 2002
        California publicans dispute claim that business improved after ban
        By Stephen McKinley

The experience of Irish bar and restaurant owners in California after a complete ban on smoking was introduced five years ago has been mixed but mostly negative, according to some owners in the San Francisco area.

Official city government statistics assert that after the ban, bar and restaurant business actually increased, a claim that is disputed by owners, who have said that the city included in its statistics fast food chains for the first time. Smoking has never been allowed in those establishments.

Anti-smoking campaigners in New York City have cited the California ban as an example of how smoke-free areas have increased business.

Pat White, a native of County Clare, once had nine bars in San Francisco and now has four. One bar, he said, was closed because the city's health department successfully sued it for being a public nuisance, not because of smoking inside the bar but because so many patrons were standing outside the bar to have a cigarette.

"I am selling the rest of the bars because I am fed up trying to do business in this city," White said. "I would say, business went down 20, 25 percent. The ban came in five years ago and then was seriously enforced two to three years ago. More people started drinking more at home, where they can still smoke."

Reuters - December 11, 2002
       Tough New Smoking Ban Clearing Hurdles in New York

New York officials agreed on Wednesday on a tough new anti-smoking policy, one of the most stringent in the country, that would ban smoking in most public places including bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

The agreement by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council leadership will now be put to a series of public hearings and
a vote by the full City Council. The legislation is expected to be passed and to become law as early as January.

The measure represents a significant toughening of the existing bans on smoking in the most populous U.S. city. It makes only
minor concessions to business groups that have complained the measure would hurt their ability to make a living.

Only limited exceptions would be allowed, including for smoking in a portion of sidewalk cafes, backyard gardens, rooftop
restaurants and some private clubs that have no employees. Existing cigar bars will be able to continue to permit smoking.

Existing bars would be allowed to construct a separate ``smoking'' room, but no employees would enter that room to serve food or beverages or clean it until the room is vacated.

NY Newsday - December 11, 2002
        Bloomberg Announces Smoking Ban Deal
        By Dan Janison

A sweeping new ban on smoking in New York City workplaces will take effect by March or April, city leaders announced today.

Four months after Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed legislation barring smoking in all bars, restaurants, bingo parlors and bowling alleys, City Council leaders have agreed to do it — but with a few exceptions.

Despite his past insistence that the bill as first drafted be enacted, Bloomberg today said he acceded to Council-prodded changes, downplaying them as “nothing substantive.” He praised the Council — who he had suggested before would be sacrificing lives for each day it waited.

According to Bloomberg and advocates who pushed for the legislation, the amendments include:

- Allowing seven existing cigar bars in the city to stay in business.

- Allowing smoking in some open-air parts of outdoor cafes provided there is a buffer zone from non-smoking tables.

- Owner-operated establishments and fraternal lodges — businesses without employees — may allow smoking.

- Bars may establish smoking areas that “sunset” after three years — but with stringent, possibly onerous conditions.

Bloomberg said during a City Hall news conference, “If a bar really wanted go and build a small area where they have standards that are, in all fairness, difficult to achieve in terms of negative air pressure and all sorts of filtering stuff — and no employees in that room — people can go in there and smoke.”

“I think from a practical point of view very few businesses and restaurants would take advantage of that. It would be expensive and not really add anything,” Bloomberg said.

The Council’s health committee is expected to send the measure to the full house this week. There is expected to be a 90-day period between the law’s enactment and its effective date.

NY Newsday - December 12, 2002
        Restaurateurs: 'This Is Really Bad Timing'
        By Tania Padgett

Many New York City restaurateurs are fuming over the new ban on smoking that city leaders announced yesterday.

Restaurateurs said that the new law, expected to go into effect in March or April, will sap revenues, which have already slipped because of the recession and the ripple effects of the terrorists attacks.

"This is a bad time for people in the restaurant business," said E. Charles Hunt, executive vice president at the New York State Restaurant Association's New York City chapter. "Owners are concerned about their revenues and some workers are worried about losing their jobs. This is really bad timing."

Elaine Kaufman, who owns the famed Upper East Side restaurant Elaine's, said she doubts eliminating smoking in restaurants will be effective. "This ban is a pain in the neck, but I'm not going to spend much time thinking about it," Kaufman said. "New York City is full of laws that people forget about and this is going to be one of them."

NY Newsday - December 12, 2002
        Putting 'Em Out
        Amended law to ban smoking unites mayor, city council
        By Dan Janison

Smoking will be banned in workplaces citywide - including bars, restaurants and bowling alleys - beginning in late March or early April under a new agreement reached yesterday by city leaders.

Under the deal, bars could install smoking rooms of less than 350 square feet with self-closing doors and special air systems, but nobody may serve customers in them.

Supporters of the amended legislation say the expense, and a three-year expiration to that provision, would give bars little incentive to install such rooms. And if the room is found in violation three times, the bill says, its authorization would be revoked.

There is a hearing by the Health Committee tomorrow, but the panel won't vote until at least next week, council officials said. The amended version could clear the full council. With the measure to take effect 90 days after Bloomberg signs it, that would put the law on course for about April 1, council officials said.

The administration's past closed-door threats to run primaries against resistant council members, and his denunciation of delays as a deliberate danger to human life, drew attention to Bloomberg's stridency.

Associated Press - December 12, 2002
        NYC Moves on Tough Anti-Smoking Law
        By Timothy Williams

Leaders in the nation's largest city have agreed to a plan to snuff out cigarette smoking in almost every New York bar and restaurant, a move that could create one of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the nation.

The bill will likely be passed next week over the opposition of smokers and bar owners, who have complained that tightening the city's existing law would curtail their rights, hurt tourism and cut into tavern business.

The City Council has held two public hearings on the issues, and will hold two more this week and next. The panel is expected to pass the bill Dec. 18 and it could take effect in the spring.

Many smokers were outraged by Bloomberg's stance.

"Never has a man -- besides Napoleon -- been so ruthless and been such a control freak. It's really unbelievable," said Patrick Smith, 32, as he puffed on a cigarette outside a Brooklyn store.

Orlando Sentinel - December 8, 2002
        Antismoking rules face tough going in Capitol
        By John Kennedy

TALLAHASSEE -- Approved overwhelmingly by voters, Florida's tough new antismoking amendment is now facing its harshest critic: the Florida Legislature.

Prodded by opponents of the measure, who contributed heavily to Florida's ruling Republican Party, top lawmakers are already saying it will be difficult to enact new smoking limits that are among the strictest in the nation.

Associated Press - December 13, 2002
        Butt out: Shore resort clamps down on smoking
        By John Curran

OCEAN CITY, N.J. -- The air is clearing at one of New Jersey's most popular summer destinations, but not everyone is happy about it.

Citing an increasing problem with fires ignited by cigarette butts, the City Council voted Thursday to ban smoking on the Boardwalk, except in specially designated areas.

The move comes a month after the Bay View Manor apartment complex became the first public housing facility in the state to ban smoking.

Still, council members in this tourism-dependent resort were sharply divided about the wisdom of restricting the rights of visitors, voting 4-3 to approve the ordinance.

A spokeswoman for a New York-based smokers' rights group said the Ocean City measures represent a further erosion of privacy rights.

Audrey Silk, founder of NYC C.L.A.S.H., said bans on smoking in restaurants, airports and other places were leading up to this all along.

"Where are they going to come next?" Silk asked. "Your homes."

"That is one of our most sacred constitutional guarantees _ to be secure in our private properties. Granted, the city owns the property, but this is our home."

As for banning smoking on the Boardwalk to prevent fires, Silk said, "It's just another excuse."

"They just don't want people smoking. That's the underlying agenda," she said.

Brooklyn Skyline - December 17, 2002
        No Room To Smoke
        By Dan McLean

New York City is already one of the most expensive places in the country to buy cigarettes. And the bill that will make it one of
the hardest cities to find a place to smoke is back on track.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made passing a no-smoking bill a top priority for his administration.

The city’s budget crisis, however, temporarily pushed the no-smoking bill to the back burner.

After passing legislation that hiked property taxes 18.5 percent, crafting legislation to ban smoking in public places is, again, a

City Council leaders announced an agreement on Dec. 11 that makes modest changes to the mayor’s bill, but would still
prohibit smoking in public places including: bars, nightclubs, bingo parlors, bowling alleys, and restaurants.

Audrey Silk and her non-profit, pro-smokers group called NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH),
however, does want the legislation to drag on and be forgotten.

James Tom, CLASH’s political affairs committee head, has called the bill “anti-freedom legislation” and has warned the City
Council that his group will disrupt the city’s plans to attract the Republican National Convention in 2004, if the no-smoking bill
becomes law.

“If you choose to go ahead and implement Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s smoking ban, let me assure you, we will be protesting by
asking the Republican National Committee not to choose New York City as the site of their 2004 convention,” he wrote in a
letter to all council members.

Associated Press - December 18, 2002
        Council joins Mike in hanging up 'No Smoking' sign

The City Council overwhelmingly approved Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on workplace smoking, including a prohibition on lighting up in almost all bars and restaurants.

The 42-7 vote with two abstentions Wednesday came after spirited opposition from smokers and bar owners, who said tightening the city’s existing smoking law will diminish their rights, hurt tourism and cut into the business of bars and nightclubs.

But while the legislation will prohibit smoking in almost all workplaces, there are several exceptions, including portions of outdoor cafes; bars that build enclosed, specially ventilated smoking rooms where employees would not enter; private clubs such as American Legion halls; nursing homes and other residential facilities that have smoking rooms; and existing cigar bars.

The Villager - December 18, 2002
        Bars, patrons in a slow burn over new law
        By Elizabeth O'Brien

As the city's anti-smoking bill moved closer to approval this week, many local bar workers and customers wished they could snuff out a law that they feel infringes on their personal freedoms. Bar owners, fearing the new law will hurt business, were bracing for the worst and considering the cost of building smoking rooms.

Plenty of customers complained that the proposed law was too intrusive.

"As a non-smoker, I think it's a really stupid idea," said David Benson, 42, an actor and former restaurant employee enjoying a weekend drink at the Gaslight Lounge on W. 14th St. Benson said he resented Mayor Bloomberg telling workers what was best for them.

"I think that Bloomberg has overstepped his bounds," said John Nolan, 52, a rock impresario, at the Ear Inn on Spring St. Nolan said that he respected a smoker's right to light up at a bar, even though he quit smoking in March.

Some bar owners and workers hailed the decision, though.

"Out of all our employees, only one smokes by choice and the others are forced to smoke every day," said Linda Azzollini, who along with her husband owns and operates Paul & Jimmy's restaurant on E. 18th St, which has a small smoking section and bar. She said the smoke causes headaches, eye irritation and congestion for her and her employees.

Azzollini was one of 57 people who testified on Dec. 13 at a public hearing on the anti-smoking bill at City Hall.

Like any number of bar proprietors, many customers could hardly believe that the law was for real. Douglas Romines, 30, lit up a Gauloises at the Ear Inn and reflected on the proposed legislation.

Said Romines, "It doesn't seem much like New York."

Staten Island Advance - December 19, 2002
        Anti-smoking legislation easily passes in City Council
        With mayor's signature expected, ban should go into effect by April
        By Heidi Singer

The bill to ban smoking in most New York City bars and restaurants easily passed its final hurdle yesterday, after the City Council voted overwhelmingly in its favor.

Now, all that remains is for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to sign the bill into law, which he is expected to do shortly. The ban should go into effect by April.

The Council voted 42 to 7 in favor of the law, with two abstentions. Most members who spoke against it, including Councilman Michael McMahon (D-North Shore), worried about harm to small businesses like taverns.

Bar owners were bitterly disappointed, predicting that neighborhood taverns would go bankrupt.

"We were railroaded," said John Mulvey, chairman of the Staten Island Restaurant and Tavern Association and owner of Bridget's Public House, West Brighton. He hoped the compromise bill would require better ventilation systems, rather than a ban.

The bartenders and owners who packed the previous three public meetings on the bill were largely absent yesterday, since the vote was considered a done deal. But Island artist Scott LoBaido drew plenty of attention with his giant cardboard and tinfoil cigarette, inscribed in large black letters with the phrase "Bend Over Bloomberg," the burning end aimed at the entrance to City Hall.

"I had to come down to this level," grinned LoBaido, standing on the City Hall steps. "He's [expletive deleted] us New Yorkers and I'm just returning the favor."

NY Newsday - December 30, 2002
        Mayor Signs Smoking Ban Into Law

Calling it an historic event for New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday signed into law a ban on smoking that extends into almost all public work places, including restaurants and bars.

The smoking law, among the strictest in the nation, had been opposed by many restauranteurs and bar owners in the city who had argued it would hurt their businesses.

But the mayor, a former smoker who had championed the legislation in the name of employee health, said the law was necessary to protect workers from second-hand smoke.

"This law does not legislate morality. This law does not take away anyone's rights," Bloomberg said at a City Hall bill-signing ceremony, according to a news release issued by his office. "This law allows working people to earn a living in a safe workplace so they can provide for their families."

The law, which goes into effect in 90 days, was approved by the City Council on Dec. 18 with some execptions that slightly eased the blanket restrictions the mayor originally had sought.

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