What do you think of the mayor’s anti-smoking plan? I’d actually be all for it, which is odd since I am a smoker myself. I think it might make me smoke less. The increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes hasn’t stopped me from smoking. I just have friends who come up to visit from Florida bring cartons for me. Down there they cost $25 apiece. Here, it’s closer to $55.
Did you always smoke? Yes, but I stop for three to four months of the year. Right now I have no desire to smoke. I don’t associate smoking with being in a bar drinking beer. It’s the cooler weather that makes me want to smoke. Something about being outside and having that little bit of warmth from a cigarette.
What vice would you be unable to give up if it became illegal? Alcohol, if we saw another Prohibition. My drink of choice right now is probably a Flaming Dr. Pepper. You fill a pint glass three-quarters of the way full of beer, then take a shot glass filled with Annisette and 151. Light that on fire. Only the 151 will catch. Drop the shot glass into the beer and drink the whole thing in one gulp.
What do you think of the mayor’s anti-smoking plan? I think it’s bad. I myself am trying to quit smoking. I leave the house without my cigarettes so I won’t be tempted to smoke, but I always carry 50 cents with me so that I have something to offer the person I’m trying to bum a cigarette from. I never have to give up the money, but I think it’s a courtesy, and I really mean to give it to them when I ask.
What vice would you be unable to give up if it became illegal? They’re already illegal, the vices I do.
Resides Long Island
What do you think of the mayor’s anti-smoking plan? I’m not a smoker, but I think the ban is ridiculous. It’s fascistic. They’re also trying to ban smoking on beaches. I grew up with second-hand smoke because both my parents are smokers. It should be the bar’s prerogative to ban or allow smoking. The bartender is there to serve people, not to dictate their behavior.
What vice would you be unable to give up if it became illegal? Watching the Adventures of Pete & Pete at two in the morning. You start watching and end up staying up for hours and hours.
What do you think of the mayor’s anti-smoking plan? I personally think people have a right to smoke, as long as there are designated areas for non-smokers. Drinking and smoking are what you do in a bar. I was hoping Bloomberg was going to be more lenient than Giuliani, but he’s talking about prohibiting smoking at the beach. Pretty soon there’ll be a law forbidding drinking in bars.
Did you ever smoke? No.
What vice would you be unable to give up if it became illegal? The freedom to express my sexual freedom. That’s why I’m here in New York. I’d march to protect that. This is the city where you’re allowed to just be.
Occupation Assistant editor
What do you think of the mayor’s anti-smoking plan? I think it’s a dumb idea. People complain about the bars in their neighborhoods because of the noise. Imagine what it’s going to be like if people are forced out onto the street to smoke. It will only get worse.
Did you ever smoke? No, but it doesn’t bother me. I’ll be sorry when all my friends who smoke have to leave to have a cigarette. People who work in office buildings walk outside a lot for cigarette breaks. It’s like they’re taking an extra week of vacation.
What vice would you be unable to give up if it became illegal? Coffee. I need it. I drink about three cups in the morning. I think that’s a lot.
What do you think of the mayor’s anti-smoking plan? I don’t smoke and I’m against smoking, but I have friends who smoke and it gives them a lot of enjoyment. I think a bar is the one place to smoke. I myself can’t be in a bar because I can’t breathe.
What vice would you be unable to give up if it became illegal? Procrastination. Doing my homework at the last minute. I get overwhelmed when I know what’s in front of me. It’s a matter of putting your foot down and getting on with it.
What do you think of the mayor’s anti-smoking plan? It’s unfortunate, because those who drink, smoke. I think this is a natural progression because they’ve banned smoking in cities across the country. When I’m in a restaurant I don’t want smokers anywhere near me.
Did you ever smoke? No, I never did.
What vice would you be unable to give up if it became illegal? I already participate in a vice that’s legal, which is gambling. It’s a rush. If they started arresting people for betting on sports, I’d be willing to take to the picket lines. For the Series, bet on the Braves. I grew up in Philadelphia, so I hate them but I think they have the best shot.
Occupation Record store clerk
What do you think of the mayor’s anti-smoking plan? I’m opposed to it. There are singular things about living in New York that have to be protected. Otherwise the city will end up looking like the rest of America. Maybe the mayor could ban smoking on the Upper West Side and allow it on the Lower East Side. Unfortunately, the people who are arguing the case for smoking in bars aren’t very articulate.
Did you ever smoke? I smoke now. About two and a half packs a week. I can’t smoke at my girlfriend’s house because she has a parrot, and my roommate can’t take it because of his sinuses. I’m going to be spending a lot more time out on the street.
What vice would you be unable to give up if it became illegal? It would have to be cigarettes. It’s my main vice. I keep saying that because I didn’t start smoking until my early twenties. I can afford to smoke a little longer, but I’m probably screwed.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 20, 2002