up in smoke
Poor smokers! Forced to shiver outside with chilly, chapped fingers all winter long, and then when the weather finally improves, New York announces that it will be expanding its state park smoking ban.
The ban on smoking in some areas of state parks had a rocky start (the state suspended it temporarily after smokers’ rights groups threatened to sue) and the legal challenge is, in fact, ongoing, But apparently, New York State is feeling very cocky, not only moving forward with the ban, but extending it to even more parks. Now smokers will only be able to suck fresh air into their damaged lungs when they visit one of the city’s parks. Or, the skin particle-laden air that passes for fresh in New York City.
up in smoke
Well, we knew this was coming. Back in November, the city of New York filed a lawsuit against Island Smokes for avoiding the state’s high cigarette tax by allowing customers to roll their own tobacco in-store.
While selling loose tobacco and not paying the cigarette tax isn’t illegal, the lawyer for the city’s corporation council affirmative litigation division, Eric Proshansky, declared that by helping patrons make their own cigs in the establishments, the stores were allowing people to leave with a finished product and thus circumventing the tax. So the question was: is a cigarette indeed more than the sum of its part?
Apparently so, since the city has decided to go after two more shops. Today the New York City Corporation Counsel and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman launched a joint filing against tobacco stores BB’s Corner n Brooklyn and Nitecap Entertainment on Staten Island, for violating “the Federal Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act, the New York State Cigarette Marketing Standards Act, and New York State tax law.”