E-cigarettes latest – and likely last – item on Bloomberg’s agenda
Dec 24, 2013 | 1382 views | 0 0 comments | 139 139 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“I’ll be fulfilling a life-long dream of enjoying a small soda on a non-smoking beach,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg quipped about his retirement plans during a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live this week.

Though he didn’t say it, that beach likely won’t allow e-cigarettes, either.

On Friday, the City Council approved a ban on the smoking of electronic cigarettes pretty much everywhere regular cigarettes are banned—restaurants, bars, parks, the office. Electronic smokers will now join the others puffing outside on breaks.

The measure, backed, of course, by Bloomberg, follows another move last month to increase the smoking age in New York City from 18- to 21-years-old.

Certainly, the verdict is still out on e-cigarettes—questions remain on their effectiveness in helping people quit smoking or if they pose a danger for second-hand smokers. And New York City is not the only place to consider a ban—a similar measure was considered, though failed, in Chicago.

But this is less about e-cigarettes and more about Bloomberg’s legacy. The guy will be at it until midnight on the 31st. He doesn’t seem able to leave City Hall behind before fighting, one last time, to slip another “nanny” measure through City Council and onto the people of New York.

But that is Bloomberg’s legacy—who he is and what he does. Bloomberg has, for more than a decade, pushed through any policy he thinks best, which in turn, means what he thinks is best for New Yorkers.

E-cigarettes and the soda ban are punch lines of his administration, but he has taken on more serious issues from stop-and-frisk to term limits. But agree or disagree with his stances, Bloomberg has been with us for so long we forget that this is rarity in politics. He rarely flip-flops. He’s unapologetic for who he is, and what he wants to accomplish.

That can be frustrating to the constituents he is supposed to serve, without a doubt. But even when New Yorkers are disgruntled with him, we never doubt were he stands.

Bloomberg wants it that way. Plus he still thinks you’ll thank him later—and probably want to join him on that small-soda, nonsmoking beach.

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