New York stubs out smoking in bars

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The Independent US

New York city ushered in a smoke-free era when a ban on lighting up in bars and clubs came into force yesterday.

New York city ushered in a smoke-free era when a ban on lighting up in bars and clubs came into force yesterday.

The ban covers all workplaces, including bars, small restaurants, bingo halls and other venues not covered by a previous smoking law, which outlawed smoking in restaurants with more than 35 seats.

Even inmates in New York's jails, who counted smoking as one of their few luxuries, cannot light up.

Bars and nightclubs made the most of the deadline with a final night of alcohol and cigarettes. The Magnolia Restaurant and Bar held The Great Brooklyn Smoke Out, complete with free cigars.

Donald Trump's World Bar has concocted a nicotine-free £10 "smokeless Manhattan" cocktail that is said to taste like Marlboro Reds.

Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor, a health-conscious former smoker, has pushed through some of the toughest anti-smoking laws in America. "Fundamentally, people do not want the guy next to them smoking. People will adjust very quickly and a lot of lives will be saved," he said.

Establishments breaking the rules will face fines of $400 (£250) and could lose their licences after repeated offences. Some fear the ban will put them out of business and there have been rumours that the ban will lead to the emergence of "smoke-easies".

"First they cleaned up Times Square, then they said you couldn't dance in bars or drink beer in the park. Now you can't even smoke when you go out on the town," said Wille Martinez in an East Village bar. "This is like no-fun city."

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