Contact:  Audrey Silk  (917) 888-9317
Smokers Group Launches Boycott Campaign

On March 26, NYC C.L.A.S.H., the city's most prominent smokers' rights organization, is launching an ambitious ad campaign supporting city smokers who are poised to stand firm and boycott the restaurants and bars where they can't smoke once the Bloomberg smoke-ban goes into effect.

"STOP GIVING IN.  START TAKING OUT.  DON'T EAT OR DRINK WHERE YOU CAN'T SMOKE," is how one of NYC C.L.A.S.H.'s scheduled ads takes it on. But smokers, says organizer Audrey Silk, don't really need much prodding. "Spontaneous boycotting appears to be inevitable," says Silk. "The gist of the emails I've received from all over the city is, 'We'd rather stay home than take this.'  Our ad campaign will bring together already angered smokers.  And many who refuse to accept that this city isn't big enough for everyone - smokers and nonsmokers alike -- when it comes to having a night of fun their own way, have threatened civil disobedience.  Our group doesn't encourage it but sometimes there's no way of stopping determined New Yorkers," Silk laughs.

Another purpose of the group's campaign is to encourage our friends in the hospitality industry to pressure the council to overturn the ban.

"Money talks," Silk says.  "But then, on the other hand, a loss of money screams."

In general, there couldn't be a worse time for this ban to be happening. "Continuing to socialize as we normally would is exactly what we need right now," Silk continues wistfully. "The mayor strolls about town to calm frayed nerves, encouraging everyone to go about 'your normal business' during this time of high anxiety due to the war with Iraq.  That is, everyone except smokers and bar and restaurant owners who want to serve them.  Our everyday lives are about to be turned into anything but normal by Bloomberg -- with or without the threat of being attacked again.  The last thing city residents need right now is more (unnecessary) stress, unable to relax at their favorite bar with a smoke.  At a time when our spirits need to be high, Bloomberg is doing his best to kill it."

The time to support a brewing revolt has come. Smokers have reached the end of intolerant people's limits.

"We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it," emails to Silk have read.  Silk replies then, "Boycotts break bans."

NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment
P.O. Box 1036, Brooklyn, NY 11234
(917) 888-9317