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.]