New York Mayoral Candidate Seeks Stricter Curbs on Smoking
New York, Jan. 30 -- New York's Democratic mayoral candidate and City Council speaker Peter F. Vallone, is supporting a proposal to expand New York's restrictions on smoking cigars, pipes and cigarettes.
Vallone's proposal, aimed mostly at New York's restaurants, would all but eliminate smoking in these establishments except in an enclosed room that would be separate from the bar and dining area.
``I consider this the final peg in making the city one of the cleanest and safest in the country,'' Vallone said.
These stricter curbs on smoking have been applauded by the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.
Vallone, an occasional cigar smoker, said his new proposals would further strengthen New York's 1995 law that prohibits smoking in restaurants with more than 35 seats, except in bar areas.
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who also enjoys an occasional cigar and has in his tenure as mayor attended numerous cigar dinners, cigar charity events and Cigar Aficionado Big Smokes, said he thought the city's current anti-smoking restrictions went far enough.
``I think you have to balance the interest people have in not being affected by secondary smoke, which is satisfied by the fact that in restaurants there is none, as against the interest of people who want to smoke,'' the mayor said. ``They have a right to make that choice.''
The New York Times reported the mayor's suggestion that secondary smoke has been eliminated in restaurants by the 1995 law was criticized by various health organizations and anti-smoking advocates.
The Greater New York Restaurant and Liquor Dealers Association, a trade organization representing local restaurants and liquor retailers, opposes Vallone's proposal on the grounds that if enacted into law, the new restrictions would hurt the thousands of small restaurants that seat fewer than 36 patrons.