NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 21, 2004

In spite of New York's statewide smoking ban, several bars in upstate New York have applied for and been granted waivers that allow patrons to continue to smoke. New York's Oneida County, where many elected officials opposed the ban, tops the list of counties with bars that allow smoking, according to the New York Times.

  • Since the ban began, 132 bars have been granted waivers out of the state's 65,000 bars and restaurants
  • Some 28 establishments in Oneida County alone have received waivers
  • .
  • Waivers are granted to bars or restaurants that demonstrate economic hardship from the smoking ban of 10 to 15 percent of their business due to the ban in order to receive a waiver.

Two state legislators, a Democrat and a Republican, have introduced a bill that would amend the ban and allow smoking in bars, bowling alleys and pool halls if they install air cleaning devices. Indeed, Senator Raymond Meier, a nonsmoker and one of the bill's supporters, is concerned about the effect of the smoking ban on tavern owners.

The new bill has anti-smoking advocates fuming, as they fear the legislation will roll back new public health advances.

Source: Michael Cooper, "In Many Upstate Bars, Smoke Still Rises, and if You Ask for a Light, You Don't Get Beer," New York Times, June 17, 2004.


Browse more articles on Government Issues