On the 10th anniversary of New York City banning smoking in bars and restaurants, Mayor Michael Bloomberg rebuffed any claims that his controversial public health policies violate the underpinnings of American capitalism.
“We interfere with free enterprise all the time,” Mr. Bloomberg said this morning at a press conference commemorating the Smoke-Free Air Act. “We set minimum prices and sizes on lots of things. … Most of the cost of cigarettes is in taxes and they’re taxes that are enacted by Albany. So if you don’t like that, my suggestion is you go up to Albany and ask them why they’re taxing cigarettes. I happen to think it’s a great idea because it saves kids’s lives, so maybe you want to also talk to the parents of the kids and say, ‘We’re gonna try to stop this and have them smoke and they’ll die.'”