M2: First Casualty of NYC Smoking Ban?
We’ve bemoaned the smoking crackdown for quite some time: we ranted, we raved and with a little (misguided?) inspiration, even tried “quitting.” Now, The New York Times reports that Bloomberg’s forces may be one step closer to “winning:” M2 went on trial last week, and if all goes according to plan, the club could be shut down as early as this Thursday — making it the first venue to go down in non-smoking flames. Though we might not weep over M2’s demise (see above), the mega-club’s 300-plus employees are sure to feel otherwise. It’s a cruel irony that the very people Bloomberg is trying to protect from workplace smoking are facing unemployment. The fate of the Health Department’s other targets — Lit Lounge, The Box, and other venues to be determined — is still up in the air.
Also in limbo is the our freedom to smoke outside. A comprehensive ban on public smoking in parks and beaches was proposed as a part of health commissioner Thomas Farley’s 41-page report “Take Care of New York 2012”: “The New York City proposal would affect more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities, as well as the city’s seven beaches, which span 14 miles of shoreline.”
Unsurprisingly, the proposed ban is having quite the affect already. The Third Reich has been referenced. Charming new names have been proposed. “Nanny State” is the buzz. Perhaps the most insightful response? “This is New York City we’re talking about,” commented University and State. “There is no such thing as clean air.”