I’ve never been fan of smoking in public. I don’t like walking down the sidewalk and getting plumes of smoke in my face, being ashed on, or dealing with rude smokers who think their rights are the only ones that matter.
But even I like to occasionally smoke a cigar or hookah.
I can remember the good times I’ve had sitting at Sahara East, a well known hookah bar in lower Manhattan, drinking ice cold beer, visiting with friends, and puffing away on the intricately carved pipes.
Yes, it’s true some tobacco companies have used flavored tobacco and advertising to hook youngsters. Many will cite the infamous ‘Joe Camel‘ when you talk about the topic, but I think the city council has gone too far.
My worry is what this will do to local Hookah bars, one of the few places you can still smoke and enjoy some down time that isn’t your own home.
At the middle of this issue is the choice of smokers further being impeded. Yes, we don’t want kids being exposed to tobacco until they are old enough to make the right choice. But at what point will New York say what they mean, instead of cutting away the basic rights of citizens.