I sure hope so!
I’m actually buoyed by the BBC Radio report interviewing New Yorkers, a few of whom said that the outdoor ban was hinky (I’m making a circular motion next to my ear.)
The BBC has been an anti-tobacco stalwart, reporting smoking ban after smoking ban with the same smug tone, I imagine, with which they reported Allied victories in the last days WWII. Even the BBC is admitting that claims that outdoor secondhand smoke as a significant health threat are now being questioned. (duh!) And some public health people worry that the credibility of other anti-smoking messages might be compromised.
Could this be the high water mark of the anti-smoking extremism? A high water mark is a lovely thing, a tattoo to how high the water got before it receded. How bad things got before they started to get better. How crazy things had to get before they started to get sane.
FYI – Another over-hyped “danger” that makes the BBC salivate is human sex trafficking. Columbia Journalism Review gave a vaunted “laurel” to the January 11, 2011 report from The Oregonian that showed how public policy was being driven by warped statistics. Sound familiar? (cough)
Anyhow, the NYC outdoor ban stinks (hah!) and I’d like to renew my call to change Big Apple to Big Durian, the odiferous tropical fruit that’s a national symbol of Singapore, another business-friendly Gotham with public policy based on nuttiness.