The Big Durian

Well, now we know. Secondhand smoke outdoors is as dangerous as secondhand smoke indoors! New York City’s $18 billion mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has used such “research” in his justification for pushing a ban on smoking in the city’s nearly 2,000 parks, beaches, public benches, pedestrian malls and Times Square. ($250 fine.)

The “research” finds that someone sitting outdoors within three feet of a smoking smoker is exposed to the same effects they would be when sitting three feet away indoors.

“No longer will New Yorkers be exposed to secondhand smoke ruining their fresh air outdoors!” goes the cry.  Of course, there can be no designated smoking areas of beaches or parks, although I have forgotten the reason why.

When I lived on Long Island some decades ago, loud boom boxes were making life miserable for the not-that-kind-of-music-loving beachgoers at Robert Moses State Park. There were a few different beaches and one was set up so blasting boom boxes were permitted, while other adjacent beaches prohibited loud music.

But to designate some “Smoking Permitted” areas in 800-plus acre Central Park is not an option. This would involve humanizing smokers enough to ask for their suggestions and cooperation. You forget you have to do this when you have $18 thousand million dollars.

Why the Big Durian? Because the durian is a favorite fruit in Singapore, where authoritarian crackdowns, bans on chewing gum and government “suggestions” of appropriate curb appeal foliage are the norm. Oh yeah, and a restrictive smoking ban, to boot.  ($1,000 fine for first-time offenders)

A durian looks like a huge spiky cantaloupe, is delicious (evidently) and stinks like hell (also, evidently).  In fact, durians smell so bad, they’re not allowed in some taxicabs and public buildings. Despite this, their taste is said to be sweet and pudding- like.

Sound like the former Big Apple?

I feel bad for Mayor Bloomberg. Approaching age 70 when you have $18,000,000,000 must make you feel that mortality is really unfair. If I had $18 billion, I might feel the same way.

Now, maybe Mikey has a couple of clone-doubles being raised in some basement for organ donation.  If so, I stand corrected.

But if not, (Please, Hizzoner, clear up the secret clones controversy once and for all!) Bloomberg’s obsession with dying is making him forget he is supposed to consider the needs of all living New Yorkers and use persuasion over force, whenever possible. (Hellooo, Singapore!)

By acting batty – outdoors is the same as indoors! – the Mayor is encouraging the population to act batty. That can’t be good. Especially in a city as large and diverse as New York.

This entry was posted in Defending Rights, Politics & Policy, Smoking Life, Travel & Gear and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
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2 Responses to The Big Durian

  1. Audrey Silk says:

    Thanks for taking the absolutelty appropriate shots from wayyyyy over there. And it illustrates that’s how wiiiiidely Bloomberg is reviled.

    From a NYer to the wilds of Alaska,
    Founder, NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.)

    • sensiblesmoker says:

      I admire you, Audrey, fighting the Big Fight! Please don’t let there be a total smoking ban in hotel rooms. I’ve love to visit the Big, er, Apple? again some day and especially Brooklyn, which I keep hearing exciting things about!

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