A Letter to Mayor DiBlasio on Public Smoking

Dear Mr. Mayor,

I sincerely hope this message finds you and your family and your staff and theirs’ in good health, happiness, and peace of mind.

What Decent, Healthy People Would Like–in New York City

People want to be free to be healthy. In New York, however, we are not free to be healthy, because of the ubiquity of smokers. But what is New York supposed by others to be about, if not individuality and individual freedom? What happens when the sick and inconsiderate are usurping those virtues of personal freedom and health–because they are addicted to a drug that harms not only themselves, but everyone, nearby and far away? Cigarettes–the burning type–which I shall refer from here on as ‘combustion-driven’, in the hands of people addicted to their vice and carcinogenic delivery systems, are doing this every moment of every day–in New York City. I and tens of thousands of others–if not millions–who care about their health, must hold our breath and bob and weave and dodge around smokers on crowded New York City streets, every day–and in vein–because we lose, every time; we still inhale cigarette smoke from others no matter what we do. It is not fair. It is not just. It is not sensible. It is insane. Furthermore, it is ‘un-New York’. I would go so far as to say it is un-American–not traditionally–of course, but philosophically. One man’s vice is not supposed to be a public health menace. Not in America.

America is supposed to be about fairness and freedom. It is bad enough we are shackled to faulty political practices, unfair banking and economic policies, environmental degradation due to corruption, poor infrastructure and foreign policy, terrorism and a host of other facets and factors of life we have little control over at the moment. Why should we also be forced to inhale cigarette-spewed nuclear radiation and Carbon Monoxide–on the streets?

I strongly advocate the banning of all combustion-driven tobacco products from New York City streets. Moreover, I think all of us who are healthy and sensible and in line with this should demand it!

What About in Other Western Democracies?

When I was in Japan, I saw that smoking on city streets was illegal. One cannot walk and smoke in Japan, and one must go into a smoking chamber or a smoking area separated from pedestrian traffic to abuse nicotine. Why are we less socially advanced than the Japanese?

When I was in Korea, I was forced to inhale cigarette refuse on the wind–all the time, and I thought, ‘I cannot wait to live in an American city, again, where this does not happen.’ Well, It does happen–because we are just as foolish to allow this. I inhale cigarette smoke every morning, noon, and night–on the wind–in our beloved city, and… against my wishes. Why must this be? It is tyrannical and clinical insanity.

The forced inhalation of cigarette pollution–is a human rights violation, a gross inconvenience, a corruption of a person’s peace of mind, his personal choice, and a distraction to his or her concentration.

But What About ‘Smokers Rights’?

Cigarette smokers exercising what I call their secondary right to relieve their emotional problems with nicotine products that harm others–whilst damaging their health–are violating what I call non-smokers’ primary rights to peace of mind, fresh air, and in the case of pedestrian traffic–free-locomotion in while in transit. However, I don’t want to be callous toward them–for they are human beings with needs, too–so let us suggest that they who are addicted to this  drug–use Electronic cigarettes, or vapor pens, which only produce the global warming gas, water vapor, and no other pollutants–such as are found in regular cigarettes, like nuclear radiation (Polonium), heavy metals (Cadmium), and the carbon-based greenhouse mitigants, Carbon Monoxide (car smoke); there’s no rat poisoning (Arsenic); nor any of the other 3,900+ chemicals we are forced to inhale found in combustion-driven nicotine products (regular cigarettes).

And finally, please consider this: billions of cigarettes are burning on this planet, every moment, twenty-four hours a day–pumping a tonnage of greenhouse gasses and radiation into our mutating atmosphere… in a time of severe global climate change–this is plainly stupid of us, and grossly irresponsible.

I wish you well.


Carl Atteniese Jr.


Copyright © 2015 Carl Atteniese Jr., AKA ‘Mando’, All rights reserved.

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