Get Your Butt Out

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Sun Mar 25 04:53:39 MST 2001

Now, if they can just get a law passed requirring Philip Morris to post
....Just Say No to Drug Trafficking.... in all the places they now have
their cigarette advertisements....

Tony Abdo
Smokers Protest NYC Law

NEW YORK (AP) -- Waving a 10-foot-long cigarette above their heads,
smokers marched to City Hall on Saturday to protest a proposed law that
would ban smoking in the city's 21,000 restaurants.
''We smoke!'' the crowd yelled. ''Butt out!''

The smokers were joined by restaurant owners, waiters and bartenders in
protesting the bill -- the Smoke Free Air Act -- which is expected to be
sent to the City Council in May or June.

The law also would ban smoking in city vehicles, including police cars,
but would continue to allow smoking in bars and nightclubs.

''The law is fine the way it is,'' said smoker Scott LoBaido. ''It is
not broken, it should not be fixed.''

Organizers tried to round up 10,000 smokers by canvassing the city's
restaurants and bars over the last month, but only about 50 protesters
showed up Saturday.

Supporters of the proposed law include most of the city's labor unions,
the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society. Opposing
the bill are the restaurant industry and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

A 1995 law prohibits smoking in restaurants that seat more than 35
people, in office buildings, and in private offices used by more than
three employees. It allows smoking in the bar areas of restaurants.

Other states and municipalities have tougher laws, including California,
which bans smoking in all restaurants, bars and other public places.

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