In what is being considered a brash move, smoker’s rights advocates are challenging a New York public smoking ban by, to no one’s surprise, choosing to smoke in public anyway. The ban includes New York’s state parks, public pools, beaches, and historic sites. The smoker’s rights advocates are choosing to continue smoking in these areas despite the fact that they would be charged with disorderly conduct if caught smoking there.
While it is understandable how many smokers are frustrated with the ban, which does not include all public places but most, openly breaking the law is not believed to be the best way to go about it. This has the potential to backfire against the activists as smokers are stigmatized by non-smokers enough as it is. Openly breaking the law in such a brash manner could send the message to non-smokers that smokers in general don’t care about the law, they will do as they please. It could also send the message that smokers don’t care about the comfort of non smokers. The best course of action would be to go through the proper legal channels and make the voices of the smokers heard, not by actively breaking the law and further making others uncomfortable.