New York City to become healthier

I’m happy for every person in this photo.

And here’s why:

New York City on Wednesday moved a step closer to ban smoking in parks, beaches and other outdoor public spaces, amid grumbling that the city government may have gone too far in its war on salt, fat and smoke.

The city council voted 36 to 12 in favor of the smoking restrictions, extending an existing ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he would sign the bill, and it would come into effect 90 days later.

This is excellent news. But for all the paranoid people out there, don’t worry. It’s a cigarette ban. Your rights haven’t suddenly vanished in some apocalyptic march of anti-freedom; the skyscrapers will still stand:

You can still drive the streets:

And you can still visit your museums:

You just can’t poison other people as often is all.

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One for common sense

Smokers banned from fostering

LONDON (Reuters) – A council has become the first in London to rule that smokers will no longer be able to foster children.

Redbridge Council’s cabinet agreed Tuesday night to a ban on placing children with foster carers who smoke unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The local authority in northeast London said the decision, which will come into force in 2010, was made to protect children from the “damaging effects of passive and second-hand smoke.”

Other councils around the country have introduced similar measures, particularly relating to very young children, but Redbridge’s ban is thought to be the most far-reaching.