The state of New York with smoking challenge

The realisation that smoking harms non-smokers more than those doing the puffing has created a new category of law that sets smokers apart. In New York, where a pack of cigarettes can cost more than anywhere else in the nation and regulation is especially tough, smokers cannot light up in public indoor spaces.

That sends them to the sidewalks outside bars and offices – although that space may shrink as jurisdictions consider creating buffer zones to keep tobacco smoke away from doors and windows. There’s always the beach – except in California, where cigarettes are banned in some places as an anti-litter move, an idea that could migrate east.

Now the state of New York is coming up with another smoking challenge: cigarettes that can snuff themselves if smokers don’t keep puffing. Beginning this week, cigarettes sold in the state are required to be “fire-safe”, which means that each cigarette must be wrapped in thin paper with two bands along its length that are supposed to inhibit burning.

Smokers may believe that this is being done to torment them further, but the risk of fire from cigarettes is real. They are the leading cause of fatal residential fires nationwide, killing some 1000 people every year. About a dozen other states are considering versions of the New York law.

The question is whether the new-fangled smokes can make a difference. Even with the special safety paper, a forgotten cigarette may burn for several minutes before going out on its own. And some smokers may try to detail the law by buying cigarettes outside the state.

Than there’s the potential added hazard to smokers, who may take more and deeper drags to make sure that they won’t have to light up again. Still, if it’s a choice between further endangering the people who smoke by choice or the potential victims of fires set by cigarettes.

In New York Times, 2004


1. In the US, smoking is increasingly being forbidden in enclosed public spaces
A. because it is considered a criminal activity.
B. on account of the assumption that it harms non-smokers as well as smokers.
C. to help people save money.
D. for none of the above reasons.

2. In California, smokers
A. are allowed to smoke on the beach.
B. are forbidden to smoke on the beach.
C. are expected to clean all beaches.
D. are advised to migrate to the East Coast.

3. The author of the text claims that unextinguished cigarettes
A. are not among the causes of fire in residences across the US.
B. are among the foremost causes of fire in residences throughout the United States.
C. only cause minor fires in the city of New York.
D. are essential to the maintenance of a normal ecological balance.

4. Cigarettes sold in the state of New York
A. are supposed to be wrapped in thin paper so that they can burn more effectively
B. are usually produced in other states.
C. are supposed to be wrapped in thin paper with two bands on each side, which should restrain burning.
D. all of the above.

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