Nanny State: Proposal of Smoking Ban Stirs a Sense of Tolerance

17 September 2009

Proposal of Smoking Ban Stirs a Sense of Tolerance

Published: September 15, 2009

We’ve come such a long way that in New York City, even many smokers feel guilty about smoking these days — if a walk through City Hall Park on Tuesday was any indication.

But what of the city health commissioner’s proposal on Monday to ban smoking in public parks? In a city where people — tall, short, fat, thin, rich, poor, pregnant, stinky, perfumed — have turned peaceful coexistence in crowded quarters like subways and sidewalks into an art, there was a widespread feeling that public parks should also be a place of tolerance.

Banning smoking in bars, restaurants and workplaces is one thing, people said, but banning cigarettes in parks and on beaches might be going just a step too far — except near children — on the road to a nanny state.

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