Mayor Michael Bloomberg celebrated the tenth anniversary of his ban on smoking in bars and restaurants by issuing a new report that claims that the ban and anti-smoking measures have prevented 10,000 premature deaths in NYC.
“Ten years ago when New York City prohibited smoking in restaurants and bars, many predicted the end of the hospitality, restaurant and tourism industries,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Yet ten years later, fewer New Yorkers are smoking, we are living longer, our industries are thriving and nobody longs for a return to smoke-filled bars and restaurants.”
The recent report released by the city’s Health Department said that the proportion of adult smokers has dropped by about a third to 15 percent in 2011 from 21.5 percent in 2002. The report also said the proportion of youths under age 18 who smoke dropped by about half to 8.5 percent.
When the public smoking ban first took effect, many people worried that it would negatively impact the city’s restaurant and bar business. But according to the Health Department, there are currently 6,000 more restaurants and bars in the NYC than there were a decade ago.