Smoking has been a public health threat for many years, so the main policy objective of the Smoke-free Air Act is the protection and security of all individuals in New York City. The 2002 legislation was passed to ensure that all workers have a safe, smoke free workplace environment, and that all nonsmokers can breathe smoke-free air in public places. The law is an important part of New York City’s effort to eliminate tobacco use as it is one of the most significant public health threats.
The Act is excepted to reduce the incidence of smoking-related illnesses which account nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States (U. S. Department, 2004). The Smoke-Free Air Act,trades off liberty for security. Smokers will now be unable to smoke were they wish. Essentially, property rights to restrict consumer choice he been infringed upon and have been shifted from smokers to non- smokers, in the interests of health and security. Smokers are openly against this act because it violates their private property rights and civil liberty.
Nevertheless, this act was proposed to protect the rights of the individuals who chose not to be subjected to smoke in public places. However, smokers and business owner alike have stood up against this act because their liberty and property rights have been stripped away from them.. (Smoke-Free Air Act of New York, 2002). Support for the Smoke-Free Air Act comes from the key stakeholders being non- smokers and health insurance companies. They argue the laws are appropriate to promote the health of the majority of citizens.
According to author Rabin, “In 2006, New York City’s overall adult smoking rate didn’t change. But smoking decreased among men and Hispanics” (Rabin 54). This has shown that since the act was put into place it has positively changed the outlook of many individuals. Opponents of the Act include smokers,cigarette manufacturers, and business owners. The manufacturers point out that cigarettes fall under the category ‘sin’ goods, and are heavily taxed, accounting for a large share of Sanctuary tax revenues.
Business owner’s worry that the ban leads to a negative affect to their business, which will decrease their revenues. Also, smokers have felt that their rights have been infringed upon, now with limited access to places where they could have smoked. Freeman, Carl. Health Promotion Programs: From Theory to Practice. New York: Oxford Press, 2010. Print. Gale, Sandra. Handbook of Urban Health: Populations, Methods, and Practice. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.