The Corner

Blowing Smoke, Again

When it comes to smoking, Nurse Bloomberg still has trouble with facts. Here he is in Athens (the Nurse is a major supporter of the insane effort to bring the Olympics to New York City) arguing that his smoking ban is a good reason to give the games to New York. Amongst his comments were these:

“Very few people smoke in New York City – the number of people that are smoking is declining precipitously and, for the first time since, I think, World War II, life expectancy in New York City is higher than it is on average in the United States.”

The Nurse’s implication is clear. He has saved lives!

Well, lets take a look at what his own health department had to say about improving life expectancy data about 18 months ago (about the time, coincidentally, of the introduction of the ban):

“NEW YORK CITY – April 21, 2003 – The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) today announced that life expectancy for New Yorkers has increased markedly for both women and men over the past decade. Life expectancy for females born in 2000 in New York City is 80.2 years, an increase of 3.2 years from 1990. Life expectancy for males born in 2000 in New York City is 74.5 years, a dramatic increase of 6.8 years from a decade earlier. These increases are attributable in large part to declines in the number of deaths from HIV disease and homicide, as well as the continuing downward trend in the City’s Infant Mortality Rate.”

No mention there of smoking cessation (although it goes without saying that widespread quitting would help the numbers). Importantly, however, these data show that the improving trend has been in place for a while now – and owes nothing to Bloomberg’s obsession with tobacco.

It’s also interesting to note that the Nurse has this to say:

“One of the great things about New York is that nobody smokes anymore.”

“Nobody”, Mr. Mayor? Well, even your own statistics reveal that there are 1.1 million smokers still clinging on in NYC.

When it’s time to vote for you or your successor, these ‘nobodies’ will know what to do.

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