NEW YORK – Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to seek a ban on smoking in all New York City bars and restaurants, a Bloomberg administration official said Friday.
The administration is expected to ask the City Council next week to outlaw smoking in the roughly 13,000 establishments not covered by the current anti-smoking law, which permits smoking in bars and in restaurants with fewer than 35 seats.
The mayor has been lobbying council members to approve the expected bill. He is expected to seek more support by focusing on how bar and restaurant workers are harmed by secondhand smoke.
The administration plans to announce its proposal Monday, Bloomberg spokesman Ed Skyler said.
In July, the New York State Restaurant Association announced it had dropped its long-standing opposition to the current smoking ban after a survey showed most members were in favor of it.
The association said Friday it would now examine Bloomberg's proposal and poll members about whether they support a total smoking ban.
The association will issue a new position after looking at the results of the survey, said E. Charles Hunt, executive vice-president of a local association chapter.
Cigarette sales in New York plummeted almost 50 percent in July after the city raised the tax on each pack from 8 cents to $1.50. The new tax, which Bloomberg pushed to help close a record budget gap, drove the price of some name brands to more than $7 per pack.
According to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, at least 394 communities have local ordinances that ban smoking in all restaurants, and 89 have ordinances banning smoking in all free-standing bars.
Statewide, California and Delaware enforce total bans on smoking in bars and restaurants. Three other states -- Maine, Utah and Vermont -- ban smoking in restaurants but not bars.