Two Tobacconist Associations Join to Fight Proposed NYC Smoking Ban Extension

New York, New York October 11, 2010 – The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association is joining forces with the New York Tobacconist Association to fight for the rights of New York City citizens in opposition to the proposed expansion of smoking restrictions to the city’s parks and beaches and other public outdoor locations, including Times Square.

The associations represent thousands of small, family-owned retail businesses specializing in the sale of premium cigars, pipes, tobacco and related accoutrements.

The New York Tobacconist Association is circulating a petition which states that the undersigned are opposed to such an extension, that such decisions should be left to individuals, and that they pledge to be courteous in the use of tobacco products in those public areas. (CRA Petition – New York City)

The Association is also inviting supporters to attend the Council’s hearing on the matter Thursday, October 14 at 1:00 p.m. (Committee on Parks and Recreation).

"We’re against legislated smoking bans of any kind," said Chris McCalla, legislative director for the IPCPR, "and so should everyone else, because they take away fundamental rights of citizens everywhere. In public places like these, common courtesy should prevail, not heavy-handed, misguided legislation."

2 Responses

  • Banning smoking in indoor venues and licensed premises can work because proprietors are easily held accountable — they aren’t going anywhere, and they are easy targets for enforceable citations. So they police their patrons (in theory.)
    Outdoor locations are a different matter. What NYPD cop has the time, interest, or citation book readily available to write tickets to moving pedestrians? If a smoker doesn’t admit to having identification, and uses an alias, he can just ignore the ticket! Non-citation, custodial arrests, would simply overwhelm the system.
    On this issue, New York is just stroking itself (and the anti’s); but it’s heartening to read that the associations are standing-up to the legislators.

  • With the exception of bitter winter cold, I enjoy a good pipe in Central Park as often as possible. Even if the city passes the ban, I highly doubt that I will change my habit in the park! Enough is enough.
    If I am forced to pay a fine, it most likely will be cheaper than NY’s tobacco tax!