Sep 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 03 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Undoubtedly much to the chagrin of the former mayor, more New Yorkers are smoking these days. According to the latest data from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, adult smoking rates in New York City have risen to 16 percent, from an all-time low of 14 percent in 2010.
That this is happening in a city where nanny-statist extraordinaire Michael Bloomberg spent a dozen years doing everything he could to limit cigarettes should serve as a wakeup call for those still committed to doubling down on the current antismoking campaign.
New York banned smoking in nearly all indoor public places more than a decade ago. The city spends lavishly on advertising to encourage quitting and imposes so many taxes that a pack of name-brand cigarettes can cost $15. More recently, the city banned most e-cigarette use in public and raised the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. And yet, all of these efforts correlate with increases in an activity that poses dozens of serious health risks.
It is becoming clear that the kinds of tactics that once were hugely successful in reducing smoking rates—which are half the levels seen when the first stern health warnings were issued in the 1960s—have reached the point of diminishing, if not negative, returns. Smoking rates nationally have been stuck at around 20 percent for roughly a decade, even as overbearing Bloomberg-style tactics have spread.
Rather than resort to ever-more coercive measures, public health -officials should consider the news out of New York as an impetus to explore new approaches. For people who just can’t quit—likely a sizable portion of those who persist in smoking—it’s time to consider a more tolerant and even welcoming approach to encourage switching to lower-risk products like chewing tobacco, nicotine lozenges, snus, and e-cigarettes. It’s important to note that none of these things are perfectly safe and all are quite addictive. But an impressive amount of data strongly suggests they are as much as 98 percent less dangerous than tobacco cigarettes. Allowing and, in some settings, even encouraging their use could do a tremendous amount of good.
9:01 AM, Jul 11, 2014 • By ELI LEHRER
As anyone who has visited New York City knows, getting a taxicab in the city can prove very, very difficult. And finding a driver that speaks English, has working air conditioning, will let a visitor pay by credit card, and knows directions to major landmarks can be even harder. That’s why it’s utterly bizarre that the city is trying to stop drivers from offering taxi-like rides in the city for free.
11:48 AM, Jun 10, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The new documentary "Alise vs. the Mayor," produced by the Blaze, concludes with its final episode. Shot against the backdrop of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's fight against providing rent-free public school space to charter schools, the film follows young Alise, a Harlem Success Academy scholar. In the final episode, we see the fallout from de Blasio's standoff against a fellow Democrat, New York governor Andrew Cuomo, and how this affects Alise.
Watch the episode below:
11:01 AM, Jun 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New York City has become a central battlefield in the fight over school choice and education reform since Bill de Blasio, an ally of the teachers unions and opponent of charter schools, became mayor in January. De Blasio decided early on in his administration to force out charter schools like Harlem Success Academy (founded by de Blasio's longtime political opponent Eva Moskowitz) from open space in public school buildings. The negative response was overwhelming, with even New York's Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo coming out forcefully against de Blasio's anti-charter schools move.
Marching for and against Israel.Jun 2, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 36 • By KATE HAVARD
On a cold wet day in April, a small crowd of protesters stood outside the United Jewish Appeal-Federation headquar-ters in New York to oppose the inclusion of anti-Israel groups in the Celebrate Israel parade. This year is the 50th anniversary of the parade, one of the most prominent displays of American support for Israel.
One reaction to anti-Israel protesters yesterday at Zabar's.5:50 PM, Apr 23, 2014 • By KATE HAVARD
Yesterday, on the last day of Passover, protesters surrounded the doors of Zabar’s—the iconic Upper West Side grocer famous for its knishes and lox—to demand the store stop selling the carbonated beverage maker SodaStream. The roughly 40 protesters, carrying guitars and signs decrying “Apartheid Soda,” represented a coalition of volunteers from Adalah-NY (meaning “justice” in Arabic), Jewish Voice for Peace, and m
Romney still wrong about Russia, says Obama.11:56 AM, Mar 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Speaking at a brief news conference in the Hague, President Obama said he's more worried about a nuke being detonated in Manhattan than he is about Russia:
"With respect to Mr. Romney's assertion that Russia is our number one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that America has a whole lot of challenges," said the president.
"Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neigbors, not out of strength, but out weakness.
4:29 PM, Mar 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House pool reporter says that President Obama has gone shopping at Gap in New York City:
12:26 PM, Dec 24, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The daughter of incoming New York City mayor Bill de Blasio opens up in a YouTube video about her drug use, alcoholism, and depression:
2:36 PM, Oct 30, 2013 • By EVAN SPARKS
This is why we can’t have nice things, New Yorkers might have muttered when they heard the news: Bill de Blasio, a shoo-in to be elected mayor next month, supports a plan to gut one of New York City’s most successful policy innovations of the past three decades.
Lou Reed went down and found a song that will survive.1:03 PM, Oct 28, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Lou Reed died yesterday in Amagansett, N.Y., thus ending his life on the same island, Long Island, where it began more than 71 years ago in Kings County, better known as Brooklyn.
Aug 26, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 47 • By TERRY EASTLAND
Since the early 1990s the New York Police Department has used a crime-prevention strategy that it calls “stop, question, and frisk.” Accordingly, officers stop and question a person based on reasonable suspicion and sometimes pat down the clothing of the individual to ensure that he is not armed. The department credits the strategy in large part for the huge declines in murder and major crimes over two decades in what is now the nation’s safest big city. But the liberal opposition to stop-question-and-frisk has been fighting back, and last week federal district judge Shira A.