Bloomberg bans free coffee

The latest bit of nanny state over-reaching comes from New York City, where authorities have decided to take yet another pleasure away from cigar smokers:

The owner of a Financial District tobacco shop was amazed to learn he was violating the law by offering his customers a free cup of joe while they legally puffed away on his cigars. […]

Health officials had no problem with all the cigars his customers were puffing on — a handful of businesses, including Nastri’s, are exempt from Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-smoking laws — but decided a $9,000 coffee machine was grounds for closing the place down. […]

Nastri found himself in a classic Catch-22 situation.

To serve coffee — even free coffee — he needs a permit to operate a food-service establishment. But smoking is banned in food-service establishments.

Realizing that resistance would be futile, Nastri had the machine removed.

The inspectors were presumably acting within the letter of the law, but this is clearly another attempt at harassing smoking businesses and making them as uncomfortable as possible for the people who frequent them.

[Hat tip to Jonathan Blanks.]


3 thoughts on “Bloomberg bans free coffee”

  1. As a landlord, I’ve been ranting for years about govt overstepping it’s bounds… The only people who really understand how intrusive this nonsense is are people trying to make their own way in the world. So many people just do as they’re told, without questioning authority. ‘Sheeple’ is the word I see being used to describe them… It feels like a full time job fighting them and this really is their full time job!

  2. It’s too much of ban cigars. The divide and conquer strategy of todays political climate has smokers segregated as a minority that can be oppressed through taxation.

    More people die from alcohol and alcohol related problems than cigarettes, but too many people drink, so punitive taxation of booze is an unpopular idea. Plus, it hits the Kennedy’s too hard.

    So much for victim indentity politics.

  3. This could get more interesting in that there are heaps of Food Products in typical cigarettes….don’t know what’s in cigars. Is there honey, molasses, sugar, etc?
    One cigarette ingredients is coffee.
    But there’s plenty of other food products used, without testing, in typical so-called “tobacco products”.

    We’ve heard expressions about people “inhaling their food”. This is the literal version.
    If Bloomberg banned smoking products in NYC that contained food products…probably all pesticide contaminated…that would be a good step.

    So…next…will Bloomberg, et ilk, ban BRINGING ones own coffee into a cigar shop?

    PS: Smoke ban opponents perhaps ought not jump into apparent support for OTHER prohibition areas….like against alcohol. Let’s think instead about prohibiting industrial adulteration of tobacco and all natural things.

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