Today marks the first year New York City's smoking ban has been in effect, and the Post reports that health inspectors swing by bars past midnight to make sure ban-flouting bars get nabbed. Famous smoker Fran Leibovitz scoffs, "[The ban is] riddled with hypocrisy...If you're really concerned about air quality and you're living in New York City, then you're an idiot." Yeah, Gothamist gets the idea, but then we're happy to be idiots for being concerned about litter, crime and education and other things that are notoriously tricky to improve in the city. Michael Musto takes the middle ground, saying, "It doesn't seem like the city it once was. But the bright side is that I don't come home smelling like smoke anymore."
The Post actually devotes a fair amount of ink to the ban's anniversary, with an e-mail interview with Mayor Bloomberg ("Besides cleaner air, healthier waiters and bartenders and a growing hospitality industry, New York is the same culturally and financially vibrant city it has always been.") plus talks to a bar owner who says the ban has caused a downturn in his businesses, a patron who likes the ban, and a bartender who is happy not to breathe in secondhand smoke but misses her tips. Gothamist knows of one good thing the ban has brought: A reason to leave the table and talk behind your non-smoking friends' backs.