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State Smoking Ban Reaches 10 Year Anniversary

khawkins04, Flickr

New York City is marking the 10th anniversary of its ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other indoor public spaces.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday there are about 500,000 fewer smokers in the city than there were a decade ago. He says there also are about 10,000 fewer deaths linked to smoking during that period.

The mayor denounced initial claims that the smoking ban would hurt businesses. He said there are now over 6,000 more bars and restaurants in the city than there were before it took effect.

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley stressed that smoking is still the top cause of preventable deaths in New York City.

Last week, a proposal to keep cigarettes out of sight in stores was introduced by Bloomberg, who has also taken up issue with large sodas, in an effort to improve public health.

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