LEGISLATING MORALITY….Cigarette smoking is down in New York City:

In the wake of huge tobacco tax increases and a ban on smoking in bars, the number of adult smokers in New York City fell 11 percent from 2002 to 2003, one of the steepest short-term declines ever measured, according to surveys commissioned by the city.

….”New York did the perfect trifecta that no one has attempted before ? raising taxes very steeply, making it harder to smoke indoors, and promoting cessation, so you would expect a dramatic result,” said Dr. Steven A. Schroeder, a professor of health and health care at the University of California at San Francisco.

You can argue all day long about whether the government ought to discourage unhealthy and offensive behavior, but it sure looks like they can do it if they put their minds to it.

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