Up in Smoke
The Partnership for a Healthier NYC is hoping that the city’s residential owners will follow Related Companies’ lead set earlier this year and ban smoking in their buildings.
A reported 52 residential buildings have been approached by the nonprofit formed by the city Health Department as part of a $300,000 smoke-free health campaign.
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It’s been a few months since we’ve heard anything about Mayor Bloomberg’s war on smoking, so we should have known that something was brewing. Especially since our health czar had uncharacteristically long spell of down time—the soda ban passed in September—in his crusade to force New Yorkers to lead healthier lives.
Well, The New York Post reports that Mr. Bloomberg has been planning a secret assault on smoking this whole time. Well, sort of. He’s offering community groups who convince buildings to go smoke-free a $10,000 thank-you, to be paid out by a Centers for Disease Control grant.
“What’re they going to tell us next? Are they going to get in the bedroom?” asked 19-year-old Zach Huff. The spokesperson for NYC Liberty HQ, barely tall enough to reach the microphone, was cheekily addressing a small group of rather tame demonstrators amassed in front of City Hall Monday for the Million Big Gulp March, a rally protesting Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large sodas.
If passed, the ban would prevent restaurants, delis, movie theaters and street carts from selling sugar-laden drinks that exceed 16 ounces. The protesters were, in a sense, advocating on behalf of beverages that contain 25 percent of one’s recommended daily caloric intake.
We stood waiting for some small eruption of jeering or whistling from the crowd in reaction to Mr. Huff’s aside. Nothing. Perhaps the lackluster response was a result of his bizarre logic leap from soda ban to bedroom play. Or maybe he hadn’t quite lowered the microphone enough to be heard above the slurping.