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When New York first banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2003 (amid a national trend originating in California), most people figured the regulations would be pretty easy to blow off. As it turned out, the ban was easy and effective to enforce with heavy fines, and New York smokers went down without much of a fight.
The ban did come with an unexpected silver lining, though (aside from the obvious lowered risk of lung cancer): in having to step outside, smokers and fake-smokers alike were inadvertently given one of the best excuses modern society has ever seen to get someone hot to come outside with you.
The anti-smoking tide is still rising, however, with sky-high taxes, as well as more recent bans on smoking in parks and on public beaches that many have criticized as both an excuse for racial profiling and an excessive tactic to exile smokers from every corner of society. The whole thing has started to feel like a bit much.