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PR- 377-09
August 13, 2009


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The final bill before me today is Introductory Number 642-A, sponsored by Council Members Dickens, Brewer, Foster, James, Liu, Martinez, Palma, Seabrook, Sears, Weprin, White, de Blasio, Arroyo, Stewart, Crowley and Gonzalez. Introductory Number 642-A prohibits smoking on and around hospital grounds.

"Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in New York City. It is responsible for one in three preventable deaths and one in seven deaths overall. Preventing tobacco-related illness and death continues to be a key priority for our Administration. As part of our comprehensive tobacco control strategy to reduce tobacco use among New Yorkers, the Health Department has prioritized several initiatives, including raising cigarette excise taxes, and establishing smoke-free environments. In addition, hard-hitting health education campaigns have improved awareness of the serious health effects of tobacco use and motivated hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to get the help they need to quit smoking for good. Earlier this year, the Health Department announced that New York City has reached its lowest rate of smoking on record, with fewer than 1 million adult smokers in the City. This represents 350,000 fewer smokers than in 2002. And thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Council and the Administration in securing passage of the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2002, nearly all workplaces in New York City are smoke-free, including restaurants and bars.

"Introductory Number 642-A prohibits smoking on hospital grounds, within 15 feet of hospital entrances, and on sidewalks that are adjacent to hospitals. People suffering from illnesses are often the most vulnerable to the consequences of second-hand smoke and therefore it only makes sense that we take extra steps to protect them.

"I would like to thank Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, Health and Hospitals Corporation President Al Aviles and their staff for their work on this bill. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation."


Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

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